Skeletal muscle stem cells have a central role in muscle growth and regeneration. They reside as quiescent cells in resting muscle and in response to damage they transiently amplify and fuse to produce new myofibers or self-renew to replenish the stem cell pool. A signaling pathway that is critical in the regulation of all these processes is Notch. Despite the major differences in the anatomical and cellular niches between the embryonic myotome, the adult sarcolemma/basement-membrane interphase, and the regenerating muscle, Notch signaling has evolved to support the context-specific requirements of the muscle cells. In this review, we discuss the diverse ways by which Notch signaling factors and other modifying partners are operating during the lifetime of muscle stem cells to establish an adaptive dynamic network.
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