Molecular signature of primary retinal pigment epithelium and stem-cell-derived RPE cells

Article (PDF Available)inHuman Molecular Genetics 19(21):4229-38 · November 2010with72 Reads
DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddq341 · Source: PubMed
Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by the loss or dysfunction of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and is the most common cause of vision loss among the elderly. Stem-cell-based strategies, using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), may provide an abundant donor source for generating RPE cells in cell replacement therapies. Despite a significant amount of research on deriving functional RPE cells from various stem cell sources, it is still unclear whether stem-cell-derived RPE cells fully mimic primary RPE cells. In this report, we demonstrate that functional RPE cells can be derived from multiple lines of hESCs and hiPSCs with varying efficiencies. Stem-cell-derived RPE cells exhibit cobblestone-like morphology, transcripts, proteins and phagocytic function similar to human fetal RPE (fRPE) cells. In addition, we performed global gene expression profiling of stem-cell-derived RPE cells, native and cultured fRPE cells, undifferentiated hESCs and fibroblasts to determine the differentiation state of stem-cell-derived RPE cells. Our data indicate that hESC-derived RPE cells closely resemble human fRPE cells, whereas hiPSC-derived RPE cells are in a unique differentiation state. Furthermore, we identified a set of 87 signature genes that are unique to human fRPE and a majority of these signature genes are shared by stem-cell-derived RPE cells. These results establish a panel of molecular markers for evaluating the fidelity of human pluripotent stem cell to RPE conversion. This study contributes to our understanding of the utility of hESC/hiPSC-derived RPE in AMD therapy.

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    • "We obtained HDF2-iPSC cell line from UCLA Stem Cell Core (Liao et al., 2010) and FXS-iPSC cell line (named SC128) from Dr. Philip H. Schwartz at Children's Hospital of Orange County, USA (Brick et al., 2014). Cells were maintained at 37?C and 5% CO2, and the media changed every three days. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) patients carry the expansion of over 200 CGG repeats at the promoter of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1), leading to decreased or absent expression of its encoded fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). However, the global transcriptional alteration by FMRP deficiency has not been well characterized at single nucleotide resolution, i.e., RNA-seq. Here, we performed in-vitro neuronal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells that were derived from fibroblasts of a FXS patient (FXS-iPSC). We then performed RNA-seq and examined the transcriptional misregulation at each intermediate stage during in-vitro differentiation of FXS-iPSC into neurons. After thoroughly analyzing the transcriptomic data and integrating them with those from other platforms, we found up-regulation of many genes encoding TFs for neuronal differentiation (WNT1, BMP4, POU3F4, TFAP2C, and PAX3), down-regulation of potassium channels (KCNA1, KCNC3, KCNG2, KCNIP4, KCNJ3, KCNK9, and KCNT1) and altered temporal regulation of SHANK1 and NNAT in FXS-iPSC derived neurons, indicating impaired neuronal differentiation and function in FXS patients. In conclusion, we demonstrated that the FMRP deficiency in FXS patients has significant impact on the gene expression patterns during development, which will help to discover potential targeting candidates for the cure of FXS symptoms.
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    • "As suggested by Kokkinaki and colleagues [24], properly functioned RPE cells could be preserved if only cells from the first few passages are used. Through genetic profiling of RPE, the differentiation status of the iPSC-derived RPE can now be determined by molecular markers [26] . Recently, simplified differentiation protocols that enable acquisition of a larger quantity of cells without the use of feeder-cells or xenogenic material have been developed, thereby paving the way for clinical trials [27]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a type of stem cells that can be derived from human somatic cells by introducing certain transcription factors. Induced pluripotent stem cells can divide indefinitely and are able to differentiate into every cell type, which make them viable for transplantation and individual disease modeling. Recently, various ocular cells, including corneal epithelial-like cells, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells displaying functions similar to native RPE, photoreceptors, and retinal ganglion cells, have all been successfully derived from iPSCs. Transplantation of these cells in animal models showed great promise for reversing blindness, and the first clinical trial on humans started in 2013. Despite these promising results, more research is in demand for preventing inadvertent tumor growth, developing precise functionality of the cells, and promoting integration into the host tissue.
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    • "S2). A previous study reported 87 RPE signature genes (Liao et al., 2010), and we found that 74 of these genes were targets of miRNAs downregulated in RPE cells. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells can be induced to differentiate into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). miRNAs have been characterized and found playing important roles in the differentiation process of ESCs, but their length and sequence heterogeneity (isomiRs), and their non-canonical forms of miRNAs are underestimated or ignored. In this report, we found some non-canonical miRNAs (dominant isomiRs) in all differentiation stages, and 27 statistically significant editing sites were identified in 24 different miRNAs. Morever, we found marked major-to-minor arm-switching events in 14 pre-miRNAs during the hESC to RPE cell differentiation phases. Our study for the first time reports exploring the variability of miRNA expression during the differentiation of hESCs into RPE cells and the results show that miRNA variability is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the ESC differentiation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
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