Recapitulating muscle disease phenotypes with myotonic dystrophy 1 induced pluripotent stem cells: A tool for disease modeling and drug discovery

Ricardo Mondragon-Gonzalez, Rita C.R. Perlingeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Myotonic dystrophy 1 (DM1) is a multisystem disorder primarily affecting the central nervous system, heart and skeletal muscle. It is caused by an expansion of the CTG trinucleotide repeats in the 3′ untranslated region of the DMPK gene. Although patient myoblasts have been used for studying the disease in vitro, the invasiveness as well as the low accessibility to muscle biopsies motivate the development of alternative reliable myogenic models. Here, we established two DM1 induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from patient-derived fibroblasts and, using the PAX7 conditional expression system, differentiated these into myogenic progenitors and, subsequently, terminally differentiated myotubes. Both DM1 myogenic progenitors and myotubes were found to express the intranuclear RNA foci exhibiting sequestration of MBNL1. Moreover, we found the DM1-related mis-splicing, namely BIN1 exon 11 in DM1 myotubes. We used this model to test a specific therapy, antisense oligonucleotide treatment, and found that this efficiently abolished RNA foci and rescued BIN1 mis-splicing in DM1 iPS cell-derived myotubes. Together, our results demonstrate that myotubes derived from DM1 iPS cells recapitulate the critical molecular features of DM1 and are sensitive to antisense oligonucleotide treatment, confirming that these cells can be used for in vitro disease modeling and candidate drug testing or screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberY
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the generous support from the LaBonte/Shaw Fund. This work was also supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 AR055299 and R01 AR071439 to R.C.R.P.) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologıá (394378 to R.M.-G.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd | Disease Models & Mechanisms.


  • Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • PAX7
  • RNA foci
  • Skeletal myogenesis


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