Stem cell differentiation involves multiple cascades of transcriptional regulation that govern the cell fate. To study the real-time dynamics of this complex process, quantitative and high throughput live cell assays are required. Herein, we developed a lentiviral library of promoters and transcription factor binding sites to quantitatively capture the gene expression dynamics over a period of several days during myogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) harvested from two different anatomic locations, bone marrow and hair follicle. Our results enabled us to monitor the sequential activation of signaling pathways and myogenic gene promoters at various stages of differentiation. In conjunction with chemical inhibitors, the lentiviral array (LVA) results also revealed the relative contribution of key signaling pathways that regulate the myogenic differentiation. Our study demonstrates the potential of LVA to monitor the dynamics of gene and pathway activation during MSC differentiation as well as serve as a platform for discovery of novel molecules, genes and pathways that promote or inhibit complex biological processes.
Moharil, J., Lei, P., Tian, J., Gaile, D. P., & Andreadis, S. T. (2015). Lentivirus live cell array for quantitative assessment of gene and pathway activation during myogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. PLoS ONE, 10(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0141365