Stem Cell Differentiation Triggers Could Aid Development of Regenerative Muscle Therapy

Shankar Subramaniam | Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | March 18, 2021

A study led by researchers at the University of California (UC) San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has offered up new insights into the mechanisms of stem cell differentiation that could one day help scientists develop regenerative therapies for muscle disease, injury and atrophy. By studying how easily different pluripotent stem cell lines differentiated into muscle cells, and comparing time-dependent changes in the cells’ transcriptomic profiles, the researchers discovered epigenetic mechanisms that can be triggered to accelerate muscle cell growth at different stages of stem cell differentiation.

“Stem cell-based approaches that have the potential to aid muscle regeneration and growth would improve the quality of life for many people, from children who are born with congenital muscle disease to people who are losing muscle mass and strength due to aging,” said Shankar Subramaniam, PhD, distinguished professor of bioengineering, computer science and engineering, and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego and lead corresponding author of the team’s study, which is published in Science Advances. “Here, we have discovered that specific factors and mechanisms can be triggered by external means to favor rapid growth.” Subramaniam and colleagues report their findings in a paper titled, “Temporal mechanisms of myogenic specification in human induced pluripotent stem cells… Continue reading.