Lkb1 Is Indispensable for Skeletal Muscle Development, Regeneration, and Satellite Cell Homeostasis



Serine/threonine kinase 11, commonly known as liver kinase b1 (Lkb1), is a tumor suppressor that regulates cellular energy metabolism and stem cell function. Satellite cells are skeletal muscle resident stem cells that maintain postnatal muscle growth and repair. Here, we used MyoDCre/Lkb1flox/flox mice (called MyoD-Lkb1) to delete Lkb1 in embryonic myogenic progenitors and their descendant satellite cells and myofibers. The MyoD-Lkb1 mice exhibit a severe myopathy characterized by central nucleated myofibers, reduced mobility, growth retardation, and premature death. Although tamoxifen-induced postnatal deletion of Lkb1 in satellite cells using Pax7CreER mice bypasses the developmental defects and early death, Lkb1 null satellite cells lose their regenerative capacity cell-autonomously. Strikingly, Lkb1 null satellite cells fail to maintain quiescence in noninjured resting muscles and exhibit accelerated proliferation but reduced differentiation kinetics. At the molecular level, Lkb1 limits satellite cell proliferation through the canonical AMP-activated protein kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, but facilitates differentiation through phosphorylation of GSK-3β, a key component of the WNT signaling pathway. Together, these results establish a central role of Lkb1 in muscle stem cell homeostasis, muscle development, and regeneration. Stem Cells 2014;32:2893–2907