Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Genes and Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

William H. Klein

Committee Member

Sharon Dent

Committee Member

Randy Johnson

Committee Member

Robert Schwartz

Committee Member

Marta Fiorotto


The function of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) during adult life is not well understood. The requirement of one of these MRFs, myogenin (Myog), during embryonic muscle development suggests an equally important role in adult muscle. In this study, we have determined the function of myogenin during adult life using a conditional allele of Myog. In contrast to embryonic development, myogenin is not required for adult viability, and Myog-deleted mice exhibited no remarkable phenotypic changes during sedentary life. Remarkably, sedentary Myog-deleted mice demonstrated enhanced exercise endurance during involuntary treadmill running. Altered blood glucose and lactate levels in sedentary Myog-deleted mice after exhaustion suggest an enhanced glycolytic metabolism and an ability to excessively deplete muscle and liver glycogen stores. Traditional changes associated with enhanced exercise endurance, such as fiber type switching, and increased oxidative potential, were not detected in sedentary Myog-deleted mice. After long-term voluntary exercise, trained Myog-deleted mice demonstrated an enhanced adaptive response to exercise. Trained Myog-deleted mice exhibited superior exercise endurance associated with an increased proportion of slow-twitch fibers and increased oxidative capacity. In a parallel experiment, dystrophin-deficient young adult mice showed attenuated muscle fatigue following the deletion of Myog. These results demonstrate a novel and unexpected role for myogenin in modulating skeletal muscle metabolism.


myogenin, exercise, metabolism, glycolysis, muscle, transcription factor, adult