Shihuan Kuang's Main Page
Muscle development and regeneration
Skeletal muscles have a remarkable regenerative capacity due to myogenic differentiation of satellite cells. We have recently shown that the satellite cell niche contains heterogeneous subpopulations of committed myogenic progenitors and non-committed stem cells. This hierarchical composition of readily differentiating progenitors and self-renewable stem cells assures the extraordinary regenerative capacity of skeletal muscles while maintaining a sustainable pool of satellite cells. One focus of my lab is to explore the signaling mechanisms that differentially regulate these subpopulations of satellite cells and how such mechanisms are employed in muscle regeneration.
Adult stem cell biology
A balance between self-renewal and differentiation is crucial for stem cell maintenance and tissue homeostasis. However, mechanisms governing stem cell fate are poorly understood. One goal of our research is to address this question using muscle satellite cells as a model system. Several recent studies have revealed an important role of asymmetric division in satellite cell self-renewal. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms involved in the asymmetric division of muscle satellite cells.
Many degenerative neuromuscular diseases are due to defective motor neurons and/or muscle fibers. One potential treatment of these pathological conditions is stem cell-based therapies. Currently, several limitations, including poor survival, poor migration and host rejection, are associated the use of satellite cells and other muscle stem cells in the treatment of muscular diseases. We are interested in the identification, isolation and manipulation of highly efficient myogenic stem cells for successful stem cell-based therapies to treat neuromuscular diseases.