Transcript profile distinguishes variability in human myogenic progenitor cell expansion capacity

Academic Article


  • Primary human muscle progenitor cells (hMPCs) are commonly used to understand skeletal muscle biology, including the regenerative process. Variability from unknown origin in hMPC expansion capacity occurs independently of disease, age, or sex of the donor. We sought to determine the transcript profile that distinguishes hMPC cultures with greater expansion capacity and to identify biological underpinnings of these transcriptome profile differences. Sorted (CD56+/CD29+) hMPC cultures were clustered by unbiased, K-means cluster analysis into FAST and SLOW based on growth parameters (saturation density and population doubling time). FAST had greater expansion capacity indicated by significantly reduced population doubling time (−60%) and greater saturation density (+200%), nuclei area under the curve (AUC, +250%), and confluence AUC (+120%). Additionally, FAST had fewer % dead cells AUC (−44%, P < 0.05). RNA sequencing was conducted on RNA extracted during the expansion phase. Principal component analysis distinguished FAST and SLOW based on the transcript profiles. There were 2,205 differentially expressed genes (DEgenes) between FAST and SLOW (q value ≤ 0.05); 362 DEgenes met a more stringent cut-off (q value ≤ 0.001 and 2.0 fold-change). DEgene enrichment suggested FAST (vs. SLOW) had promotion of the cell cycle, reduced apoptosis and cellular senescence, and enhanced DNA replication. Novel (RABL6, IRGM1, and AREG) and known (FOXM1, CDKN1A, Rb) genes emerged as regulators of identified functional pathways. Collectively the data suggest that variation in hMPC expansion capacity occurs independently of age and sex and is driven, in part, by intrinsic mechanisms that support the cell cycle.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Riddle ES; Bender EL; Thalacker-Mercer AE
  • Start Page

  • 817
  • End Page

  • 827
  • Volume

  • 50
  • Issue

  • 10