Combination of small RNAs for skeletal muscle regeneration [Research Communication]

Selectively controlling the expression of the target genes through RNA interference (RNAi) has significant therapeutic potential for injuries or diseases of tissues. We used this strategy to accelerate and enhance skeletal muscle regeneration for the treatment of muscular atrophy. In this study, we used myostatin small interfering (si)RNA (siGDF-8), a major inhibitory factor in the development and postnatal regeneration of skeletal muscle and muscle-specific microRNAs (miR-1 and -206) to further accelerate muscle regeneration. This combination of 3 small RNAs significantly improved the gene expression of myogenic regulatory factors in vitro, suggesting myogenic activation. Moreover, cell proliferation and myotube formation improved without compromising each other, which indicates the myogenic potential of this combination of small RNAs. The recovery of chemically injured tibialis anterior muscles in rats was significantly accelerated, both functionally and structurally. This novel combination of siRNA and miRNAs has promising therapeutic potential to improve in situ skeletal muscle regeneration.—Kim, N., Yoo, J. J., Atala, A., Lee, S. J. Combination of small RNAs for skeletal muscle regeneration.