[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlike mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which are closely related to the inner cell mass, human ESCs appear to be more closely related to the later primitive ectoderm. For example, human ESCs and primitive ectoderm share a common epithelial morphology, growth factor requirements, and the potential to differentiate to all three embryonic germ layers. However, it has previously been shown that human ESCs can also differentiate to cells expressing markers of trophoblast, an extraembryonic lineage formed before the formation of primitive ectoderm. Here, we show that phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate causes human ESCs to undergo an epithelial mesenchymal transition and to differentiate into cells expressing markers of parietal endoderm, another extraembryonic lineage. We further confirmed that this differentiation is through the activation of protein kinase C (PKC) pathway and demonstrated that a particular PKC subtype, PKC-δ, is most responsible for this transition.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We re-examine the individual components for human embryonic stem cell (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) culture and formulate a cell culture system in which all protein reagents for liquid media, attachment surfaces and splitting are chemically defined. A major improvement is the lack of a serum albumin component, as variations in either animal- or human-sourced albumin batches have previously plagued human ESC and iPSC culture with inconsistencies. Using this new medium (E8) and vitronectin-coated surfaces, we demonstrate improved derivation efficiencies of vector-free human iPSCs with an episomal approach. This simplified E8 medium should facilitate both the research use and clinical applications of human ESCs and iPSCs and their derivatives, and should be applicable to other reprogramming methods.