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Genome Med. 2015 May 17;7(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s13073-015-0170-2. eCollection 2015.

Functional fingerprinting of human mesenchymal stem cells using high-throughput RNAi screening.

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German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Division Signaling and Functional Genomics and Heidelberg University, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Im Neuenheimer Feld 580, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
Department of Medicine V, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
Department of Medicine V, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany ; RWTH Aachen Medical School, Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering, D-52074 Aachen, Germany.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for cellular therapies ranging from tissue repair in regenerative medicine to immunomodulation in graft versus host disease after allogeneic transplantation or in autoimmune diseases. Nonetheless, progress has been hampered by their enormous phenotypic as well as functional heterogeneity and the lack of uniform standards and guidelines for quality control. In this study, we describe a method to perform cellular phenotyping by high-throughput RNA interference in primary human bone marrow MSCs. We have shown that despite heterogeneity of MSC populations, robust functional assays can be established that are suitable for high-throughput and high-content screening. We profiled primary human MSCs against human fibroblasts. Network analysis showed a kinome fingerprint that differs from human primary fibroblasts as well as fibroblast cell lines. In conclusion, this study shows that high-throughput screening in primary human MSCs can be reliably used for kinome fingerprinting.

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