MicroRNA-1 and microRNA-206 improve differentiation potential of human satellite cells: a novel approach for tissue engineering of skeletal muscle

Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 May;18(9-10):889-98. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0191. Epub 2011 Dec 20.


Innovative strategies based on regenerative medicine, in particular tissue engineering of skeletal muscle, are promising for treatment of patients with skeletal muscle damage. However, the efficiency of satellite cell differentiation in vitro is suboptimal. MicroRNAs are involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. We hypothesized that transient overexpression of microRNA-1 or microRNA-206 enhances the differentiation potential of human satellite cells by downregulation quiescent satellite cell regulators, thereby increasing myogenic regulator factors. To investigate this, we isolated and cultured human satellite cells from muscle biopsies. First, through immunofluorescent analysis and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we showed that in satellite cell cultures, low Pax7 expression is related to high MyoD expression on differentiation, and, subsequently, more extensive sarcomere formation, that is, muscle differentiation, was detected. Second, using qRT-PCR, we showed that microRNA-1 and microRNA-206 are robustly induced in differentiating satellite cells. Finally, a gain-of-function approach was used to investigate microRNA-1 and microRNA-206 potential in human satellite cells to improve differentiation potential. As a proof of concept, this was also investigated in a three-dimensional bioartificial muscle construct. After transfection with microRNA-1, the number of Pax7 expressing cells decreased compared with the microRNA-scrambled control. In differentiated satellite cell cultures transfected with either microRNA-1 or microRNA-206, the number of MyoD expressing cells increased, and α-sarcomeric actin and myosin expression increased compared with microRNA-scrambled control cultures. In addition, in a three-dimensional bioartificial muscle construct, an increase in MyoD expression occurred. Therefore, we conclude that microRNA-1 and microRNA-206 can improve human satellite cell differentiation. It represents a potential novel approach for tissue engineering of human skeletal muscle for the benefit of patients with facial paralysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology*
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / metabolism*
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*


  • MIRN1 microRNA, human
  • MIRN206 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs