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Acute conversion of patient-derived Duchenne muscular dystrophy iPSC into myotubes reveals constitutive and inducible over-activation of TGF?-dependent pro-fibrotic signaling.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), DYSTROPHIN deficiency exposes myofibers to repeated cycles of contraction/degeneration, ultimately leading to muscle loss and replacement by fibrotic tissue. DMD pathology is typically exacerbated by excessive secretion of TGF? and consequent accumulation of pro-fibrotic components of the extra-cellular matrix (ECM), which in turn impairs compensatory regeneration and complicates the efficacy of therapeutic strategies. It is currently unclear whether DMD skeletal muscle fibers directly contribute to excessive activation of TGF?. Development of skeletal myofibers from DMD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), as an "in dish" model of disease, can be exploited to determine the myofiber contribution to pathogenic TGF? signaling in DMD and might provide a screening platform for the identification of anti-fibrotic interventions in DMD. METHODS:We describe a rapid and efficient method for the generation of contractile human skeletal muscle cells from DMD patient-derived hiPSC, based on the inducible expression of MyoD and BAF60C (encoded by SMARCD3 gene), using an enhanced version of piggyBac (epB) transposone vectors. DMD iPSC-derived myotubes were tested as an "in dish" disease model and exposed to environmental and mechanical cues that recapitulate salient pathological features of DMD. RESULTS:We show that DMD iPSC-derived myotubes exhibit a constitutive activation of TGF?-SMAD2/3 signaling. High-content screening (HCS)-based quantification of nuclear phosphorylated SMAD2/3 signal revealed that DMD iPSC-derived myotubes also exhibit increased activation of the TGF?-SMAD2/3 signaling following exposure to either recombinant TGF? or electrical pacing-induced contraction. CONCLUSIONS:Acute conversion of DMD patient-derived iPSC into skeletal muscles, by the ectopic expression of MyoD and BAF60C, provides a rapid and reliable protocol for an "in dish" DMD model that recapitulates key pathogenic features of disease pathology, such as the constitutive activation of the TGF?/SMAD signaling as well as the deregulated response to pathogenic stimuli, e.g., ECM-derived signals or mechanical cues. Thus, this model is suitable for the identification of new therapeutic targets in DMD patient-specific muscles.

SUBMITTER: Caputo L 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7195779 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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