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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6093601, 11 pages
Review Article

Epigenetic Reprogramming of Muscle Progenitors: Inspiration for Clinical Therapies

1IRCSS, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Via del Fosso di Fiorano 64, 00143 Roma, Italy
2DAHFMO-Unit of Histology and Medical Embryology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy

Received 15 May 2015; Revised 14 September 2015; Accepted 16 September 2015

Academic Editor: James G. Ryall

Copyright © 2016 Silvia Consalvi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the context of regenerative medicine, based on the potential of stem cells to restore diseased tissues, epigenetics is becoming a pivotal area of interest. Therapeutic interventions that promote tissue and organ regeneration have as primary objective the selective control of gene expression in adult stem cells. This requires a deep understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms controlling transcriptional programs in tissue progenitors. This review attempts to elucidate the principle epigenetic regulations responsible of stem cells differentiation. In particular we focus on the current understanding of the epigenetic networks that regulate differentiation of muscle progenitors by the concerted action of chromatin-modifying enzymes and noncoding RNAs. The novel exciting role of exosome-bound microRNA in mediating epigenetic information transfer is also discussed. Finally we show an overview of the epigenetic strategies and therapies that aim to potentiate muscle regeneration and counteract the progression of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).