Immortalized myogenic cells from congenital muscular dystrophy type1A patients recapitulate aberrant caspase activation in pathogenesis: A new tool for MDC1A research

Soonsang Yoon, Guido Stadler, Mary L. Beermann, Eric V. Schmidt, James A. Windelborn, Peter Schneiderat, Woodring E. Wright, Jeffrey B. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: Congenital muscular dystrophy Type 1A (MDC1A) is a severe, recessive disease of childhood onset that is caused by mutations in the LAMA2 gene encoding laminin-α2. Studies with both mouse models and primary cultures of human MDC1A myogenic cells suggest that aberrant activation of cell death is a significant contributor to pathogenesis in laminin-α2-deficiency.Methods: To overcome the limited population doublings of primary cultures, we generated immortalized, clonal lines of human MDC1A myogenic cells via overexpression of both CDK4 and the telomerase catalytic component (human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)). . Results: The immortalized MDC1A myogenic cells proliferated indefinitely when cultured at low density in high serum growth medium, but retained the capacity to form multinucleate myotubes and express muscle-specific proteins when switched to low serum medium. When cultured in the absence of laminin, myotubes formed from immortalized MDC1A myoblasts, but not those formed from immortalized healthy or disease control human myoblasts, showed significantly increased activation of caspase-3. This pattern of aberrant caspase-3 activation in the immortalized cultures was similar to that found previously in primary MDC1A cultures and laminin-α2-deficient mice.Conclusions: Immortalized MDC1A myogenic cells provide a new resource for studies of pathogenetic mechanisms and for screening possible therapeutic approaches in laminin-α2-deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number28
JournalSkeletal Muscle
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 6 2013



  • Caspase-3 activation
  • Congenital muscular dystrophy
  • Immortalization of myogenic cells
  • Laminin-α2-deficiency
  • Myotube
  • Telomerase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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