Generation of skeletal myogenic progenitors from human pluripotent stem cells using non-viral delivery of minicircle DNA

Jaemin Kim, Vanessa K.P. Oliveira, Ami Yamamoto, Rita C.R. Perlingeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Currently, the most efficient and promising approach for generating large numbers of engraftable human skeletal myogenic progenitors from pluripotent stem cells requires the conditional in vitro overexpression of PAX7 using lentiviral vectors. Because a non-integrating approach would be preferable to eliminate or minimize the risk associated with random genomic integration, here we investigate whether transient expression of PAX7 using minicircle DNA would enable the generation of functional pluripotent stem cell-derived myogenic progenitors, equivalent to those generated by lentivirus. Our results demonstrate that upon multiple transfections, the minicircle approach allows for the scalable generation of myogenic progenitors and these undergo efficient terminal differentiation in vitro. However, transplantation of minicircle-generated myogenic progenitors resulted in limited engraftment. This is probably due to less efficient delivery and more transient PAX7 expression in these cultures since PAX7 downregulation is accompanied by high level of spontaneous differentiation. Thus, although the in vitro data shows that the minicircle approach could potentially replace the use of lentivirus, improvements in the transfection/expression system will be necessary before it will be a feasible strategy for the generation of myogenic progenitors for cell replacement therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalStem Cell Research
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01 AR055299, the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) (#00613), ADVault Inc., and (R.C.R.P.). The monoclonal antibody to MHC was obtained from the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank developed under the auspices of the NICHD and maintained by the University of Iowa. We thank Cynthia Dekay for assistance in graphic design.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors


  • Engraftment
  • Lentivirus
  • Non-viral minicircle
  • Skeletal myogenic progenitors


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