1 Scopus citations


Adhesion between stem cells and their niche provides stable anchorage and signaling cues to sustain properties such as quiescence. Skeletal muscle stem cells (MuSCs) adhere to an adjacent myofiber via cadherin-catenin complexes. Previous studies on N- and M-cadherin in MuSCs revealed that although N-cadherin is required for quiescence, they are collectively dispensable for MuSC niche localization and regenerative activity. Although additional cadherins are expressed at low levels, these findings raise the possibility that cadherins are unnecessary for MuSC anchorage to the niche. To address this question, we conditionally removed from MuSCs β- and γ-catenin, and, separately, αE- and αT-catenin, factors that are essential for cadherin-dependent adhesion. Catenindeficient MuSCs break quiescence similarly to N-/M-cadherin-deficient MuSCs, but exit the niche and are depleted. Combined in vivo, ex vivo and single cell RNA-sequencing approaches reveal that MuSC attrition occurs via precocious differentiation, re-entry to the niche and fusion to myofibers. These findings indicate that cadherin-catenin-dependent adhesion is required for anchorage of MuSCs to their niche and for preservation of the stem cell compartment. Furthermore, separable cadherin-regulated functions govern niche localization, quiescence and MuSC maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell signaling
  • Muscle stem cell
  • Quiescence
  • Stem cell niche


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