Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Efficient conversion of ES cells into myogenic lineage using the gene-inducible system.

PMID 17466266


We established genetically engineered ES (ZHTc6-MyoD) cells that harbor a tetracycline-regulated expression vector encoding myogenic transcriptional factor MyoD, for the therapy of muscle diseases, especially Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Almost all the ZHTc6-MyoD cells were induced into muscle lineage after removal of tetracycline. The undifferentiated ZHTc6-MyoD cells are Sca-1+ and c-kit+, but CD34-, all well-known markers for mouse hematopoietic stem cells. In addition, they are able to maintain themselves in the undifferentiated state, even after one month of culture. Therefore, it is possible to obtain a large quantity of ZHTc6-MyoD cells in the undifferentiated state that maintain the potential to differentiate only into muscle lineage. Additionally, at two weeks post-injection of these cells into muscle of mdx, a model mouse of DMD, clusters of dystrophin-positive myofibers were observed at the injection site. Therefore, ES cells have considerable therapeutic potential for treating muscle diseases.