[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great potential for regenerative medicine as they have self-regenerative and pluripotent properties. Feeder cells or their conditioned medium are required for the maintenance of hESC in the undifferentiated state. Feeder cells have been postulated to produce growth factors and extracellular molecules for maintaining hESC in culture. The present study has aimed at identifying these molecules. The gene expression of supportive feeder cells, namely human foreskin fibroblast (hFF-1) and non-supportive human lung fibroblast (WI-38) was analyzed by microarray and 445 genes were found to be differentially expressed. Gene ontology analysis showed that 20.9% and 15.5% of the products of these genes belonged to the extracellular region and regulation of transcription activity, respectively. After validation of selected differentially expressed genes in both human and mouse feeder cells, transforming growth factor α (TGFα) was chosen for functional study. The results demonstrated that knockdown or protein neutralization of TGFα in hFF-1 led to increased expression of early differentiation markers and lower attachment rates of hESC. More importantly, TGFα maintained pluripotent gene expression levels, attachment rates and pluripotency by the in vitro differentiation of H9 under non-supportive conditions. TGFα treatment activated the p44/42 MAPK pathway but not the PI3K/Akt pathway. In addition, TGFα treatment increased the expression of pluripotent markers, NANOG and SSEA-3 but had no effects on the proliferation of hESCs. This study of the functional role of TGFα provides insights for the development of clinical grade hESCs for therapeutic applications.
Cell and Tissue Research 08/2012; 350(2):289-303. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Forced-expression of transcription factors can reprogram somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Recent studies show that the reprogramming efficiency can be improved by inclusion of small molecules that regulate chromatin modifying enzymes. We report here that sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), a member of the sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases, is involved in iPSC formation. By using an efficient mouse secondary fibroblast reprogramming system with doxycycline (DOX) inducible Yamanaka's transcription factors delivered by piggyBac (PB) transposition (2°F/1B MEF), we show that SIRT1 knockdown decreased while resveratrol (RSV) increased the efficiency of iPSC formation. The treatments were associated with altered acetylated p53 and its downstream Nanog but not p21 expression. The stimulatory effect was also confirmed by SIRT1 over-expression, which stimulated the formation of colonies with induced Nanog and reduced p21 expression. Furthermore, the effects of RSV and SIRT1 knockdown on reprogramming were most pronounced during the initiation phase of reprogramming. MicroRNA-34a is a known regulator of SIRT1. Its inhibitor increased, while its mimics reduced iPSC formation. The stimulatory effect of SIRT1 during reprogramming was also confirmed in the primary MEF. RSV increased while tenovin-6, a small molecule that activates p53 through SIRT1 inhibition, suppressed reprogramming. In conclusion, SIRT1 enhances iPSC generation, in part, through deacetylation of p53, inhibition of p21 and enhancement of Nanog expression.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e45633. · 3.73 Impact Factor