The skeletal muscle is considered to be an ideal target for stem cell therapy as it has an inherent regenerative capacity. Upon injury, the satellite cells, muscle stem cells that reside under the basal lamina of the myofibres, start to differentiate in order to reconstitute the myofibres while maintaining the initial stem cell pool. In recent years, it has become more and more evident that epigenetic mechanisms such as histon modifications, DNA methylations and microRNA modulations play a pivatol role in this differentiation process. By understanding the mechanisms behind myogenesis, researchers are able to use this knowledge to enhance the differentiation and engraftment potential of different muscle stem cells. Besides manipulation on an epigenetic level, recent advances in the field of genome-engineering allow site-specific modifications in the genome of these stem cells. Combining epigenetic control of the stem cell fate with the ability to site-specifically correct mutations or add genes for further cell control, can increase the use of stem cells as treatment of muscular dystrophies drastically. In this review, we will discuss the advances that have been made in genome-engineering and the epigenetic regulation of muscle stem cells and how this knowledge can help to get stem cell therapy to its full potential.
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