Skeletal muscle injury activates adult myogenic stem cells, known as satellite cells, to initiate proliferation and differentiation to regenerate new muscle fibers. The skeletal muscle-specific microRNA miR-206 is upregulated in satellite cells following muscle injury, but its role in muscle regeneration has not been defined. Here, we show that miR-206 promotes skeletal muscle regeneration in response to injury. Genetic deletion of miR-206 in mice substantially delayed regeneration induced by cardiotoxin injury. Furthermore, loss of miR-206 accelerated and exacerbated the dystrophic phenotype in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We found that miR-206 acts to promote satellite cell differentiation and fusion into muscle fibers through suppressing a collection of negative regulators of myogenesis. Our findings reveal an essential role for miR-206 in satellite cell differentiation during skeletal muscle regeneration and indicate that miR-206 slows progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
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