Stem cell research & therapy 2018 01 129(1) 8 doi 10.1186/s13287-017-0758-0
Patients with a deep burn injury are characterized by losing the function of perspiration and being unable to regenerate the sweat glands. Because of their easy accession, multipotency, and lower immunogenicity, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) represent as an ideal biological source for cell therapy. The aim of this study was to identify whether targeting the promotor of ectodysplasin (EDA) by CRISPR/dCas9-effector (dCas9-E) could induce the BM-MSCs to differentiate into sweat gland-like cells (SGCs).
Activation of EDA transcription in BM-MSCs was attained by transfection of naive BM-MSCs with the lenti-CRISPR/dCas9-effector and single-guide RNAs (sgRNAs). The impact of dCas9-E BM-MSCs on the formation of SGCs and repair of burn injury was identified and evaluated both in vitro and in a mouse model.
After transfection with sgRNA-guided dCas9-E, the BM-MSCs acquired significantly higher transcription and expression of EDA by doxycycline (Dox) induction. Intriguingly, the specific markers (CEA, CK7, CK14, and CK19) of sweat glands were also positive in the transfected BM-MSCs, suggesting that EDA plays a critical role in promoting BM-MSC differentiation into sweat glands. Furthermore, when the dCas9-E BM-MSCs with Dox induction were implanted into a wound in a laboratory animal model, iodine-starch perspiration tests revealed that the treated paws were positive for perspiration, while the paws treated with saline showed a negative manifestation. For the regulatory mechanism, the expression of downstream genes of NF-κB (Shh and cyclin D1) was also enhanced accordingly.
These results suggest that EDA is a pivotal factor for sweat gland regeneration from BM-MSCs and may also offer a new approach for destroyed sweat glands and extensive deep burns.