- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Pluripotent stem cells represent important tools for both basic and translational science as they enable to study mechanisms of development, model diseases in vitro and provide a potential source of tissue-specific progenitors for cell therapy. Concomitantly with the increasing knowledge of the molecular mechanisms behind activation of the skeletal myogenic program during embryonic development, novel findings in the stem cell field provided the opportunity to begin recapitulating in vitro the events occurring during specification of the myogenic lineage. In this review, we will provide a perspective of the molecular mechanisms responsible for skeletal myogenic commitment in the embryo and how this knowledge was instrumental for specifying this lineage from pluripotent stem cells. In addition, we will discuss the current limitations for properly recapitulating skeletal myogenesis in the petri dish, and we will provide insights about future applications of pluripotent stem cell-derived myogenic cells.