Endogenous production of fibronectin is required for self-renewal of cultured mouse embryonic stem cells

Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1014, USA.
Experimental Cell Research (Impact Factor: 3.25). 06/2012; 318(15):1820-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.06.009
Source: PubMed


Pluripotent cells are attached to the extracellular matrix (ECM) as they make cell fate decisions within the stem cell niche. Here we show that the ubiquitous ECM protein fibronectin is required for self-renewal decisions by cultured mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells. Undifferentiated mES cells produce fibronectin and assemble a fibrillar matrix. Increasing the level of substrate fibronectin increased cell spreading and integrin receptor signaling through focal adhesion kinase, while concomitantly inducing the loss of Nanog and Oct4 self-renewal markers. Conversely, reducing fibronectin production by mES cells growing on a feeder-free gelatin substrate caused loss of cell adhesion, decreased integrin signaling, and decreased expression of self-renewal markers. These effects were reversed by providing the cells with exogenous fibronectin, thereby restoring adhesion to the gelatin substrate. Interestingly, mES cells do not adhere directly to the gelatin substrate, but rather adhere indirectly through gelatin-bound fibronectin, which facilitates self-renewal via its effects on cell adhesion. These results provide new insights into the mechanism of regulation of self-renewal by growth on a gelatin-coated surface. The effects of increasing or decreasing fibronectin levels show that self-renewal depends on an intermediate level of cell-fibronectin interactions. By providing cell adhesive signals that can act with other self-renewal factors to maintain mES cell pluripotency, fibronectin is therefore a necessary component of the self-renewal signaling pathway in culture.

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    • "For cytoskeletal structure staining, cells were plated at 1×105 on 10 µg/mL collagen-coated glass coverslips for 2 hours and then fixed and permeabilized as described previously [54]. Focal adhesions were detected with an anti-vinculin monoclonal antibody (Sigma) diluted 1∶400. "
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    ABSTRACT: Unregulated activity of myofibroblasts, highly contractile cells that deposit abundant extracellular matrix (ECM), leads to fibrosis. To study the modulation of myofibroblast activity, we used human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs), which have much potential in regenerative medicine. We found that ADSCs treated with TGF-β developed a myofibroblastic phenotype with increases in α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), a myofibroblast marker, and ECM proteins type I collagen and fibronectin. In contrast, treatment with bFGF had the opposite effect. bFGF-differentiated ADSCs showed marked down-regulation of α-SMA expression, collagen I, and fibronectin, and loss of focal adhesions and stress fibers. Functionally, bFGF-differentiated ADSCs were significantly more migratory, which correlated with up-regulation of tenascin-C, an anti-adhesive ECM protein, and vimentin, a pro-migratory cytoskeletal protein. On the other hand, TGF-β-differentiated ADSCs were significantly more contractile than bFGF-differentiated cells. Interestingly, cells completely reversed their morphologies, marker expression, signaling pathways, and contractility versus migratory profiles when switched from culture with one growth factor to the other, demonstrating that the myofibroblast differentiation process is not terminal. Cell differentiation was associated with activation of Smad2 downstream of TGF-β and of ERK/MAP kinase downstream of bFGF. Reversibility of the TGF-β-induced myofibroblastic phenotype depends, in part, on bFGF-induced ERK/MAP kinase signaling. These findings show that ADSC differentiation into myofibroblasts and re-differentiation into fibroblast-like cells can be manipulated with growth factors, which may have implications in the development of novel therapeutic strategies to reduce the risk of fibrosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "It was also shown that FN induced protooncogenes and cell-cycle regulatory proteins mediated by signaling pathways involving RhoA-PI3K/Akt-ERK 1/2 and caveolin-1 in mouse ES cells [32]. It was recently reported that in mES cells cultured in feeder-free conditions, fibronectin produced by mES cells or added to the medium, interacts with the gelatin substrate, providing a surface that supports cell adhesion and self-renewal [33]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells (ESC) need a set of specific factors to be propagated. They can also grow in conditioned medium (CM) derived from a bovine granulosa cell line BGC (BGC-CM), a medium that not only preserves their main features but also increases ESC´s proliferation rate. The mitogenic properties of this medium were previously reported, ascribing this effect to an alternative spliced generated fibronectin isoform that contains the extra domain A (FN EDA(+)). Here, we investigated if the FN EDA(+) isoform increased proliferation of mouse and human ES cells. We analyzed cell proliferation using conditioned media produced by different mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) lines genetically engineered to express FN constitutively including or excluding the EDA domain (FN EDA(-)), and in media supplemented with recombinant peptides containing or not the EDA. We found that the presence of EDA in the medium increased mouse and human ESC's proliferation rate. Here we showed for the first time that this FN isoform enhances ESC's proliferation. These findings suggest a possible conserved behavior for regulation of ES cells proliferation by this FN isoform and could contribute to improve their culturing conditions both for research and cell therapy.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The importance of cell spreading in the regulation of mESC self-renewal, is highlighted by the fact that if mESCs are cultured on a strongly adhesive surface that forces them to spread, they down-regulate pluripotency markers even when cultured in the presence of LIF (Hayashi et al., 2007; Wells et al., 2009; Hunt et al., 2012). Similar results have been obtained following the induction of mESC cell spreading through the application of local force (Chowdhury et al., 2010; Uda et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) undergo self-renewal in the presence of the cytokine, leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Following LIF withdrawal, mESCs differentiate, and this is accompanied by an increase in cell-substratum adhesion and cell spreading. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cell spreading and mESC differentiation. Using E14 and R1 mESC lines, we have restricted cell spreading in the absence of LIF by either culturing mESCs on chemically defined, weakly adhesive biomaterial substrates, or by manipulating the cytoskeleton. We demonstrate that by restricting the degree of spreading by either method, mESCs can be maintained in an undifferentiated and pluripotent state. Under these conditions, self-renewal occurs without the need for LIF and is independent of nuclear translocation of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT3 or β-catenin, which have previously been implicated in self-renewal. We also demonstrate that the effect of restricted cell spreading on mESC self-renewal is not mediated by increased intercellular adhesion, as evidenced by the observations that inhibition of mESC adhesion using a function blocking anti E-cadherin antibody or siRNA do not promote differentiation. These results show that mESC spreading and differentiation are regulated both by LIF and by cell-substratum adhesion, consistent with the hypothesis that cell spreading is the common intermediate step in the regulation of mESC differentiation by either LIF or sell-substratum adhesion.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology
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