Zhong Liu

Nankai University, T’ien-ching-shih, Tianjin Shi, China

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Publications (6)30.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Parthenogenetic embryonic stem (pES) cells isolated from parthenogenetic activation of oocytes and embryos, also called parthenogenetically induced pluripotent stem cells, exhibit pluripotency evidenced by both in vitro and in vivo differentiation potential. Differential proteomic analysis was performed using differential in-gel electrophoresis and isotope-coded affinity tag-based quantitative proteomics to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the developmental pluripotency of pES cells and to compare the protein expression of pES cells generated from either the in vivo-matured ovulated (IVO) oocytes or from the in vitro-matured (IVM) oocytes with that of fertilized embryonic stem (fES) cells derived from fertilized embryos. A total of 76 proteins were upregulated and 16 proteins were downregulated in the IVM pES cells, whereas 91 proteins were upregulated and 9 were downregulated in the IVO pES cells based on a minimal 1.5-fold change as the cutoff value. No distinct pathways were found in the differentially expressed proteins except for those involved in metabolism and physiological processes. Notably, no differences were found in the protein expression of imprinted genes between the pES and fES cells, suggesting that genomic imprinting can be corrected in the pES cells at least at the early passages. The germline competent IVM pES cells may be applicable for germ cell renewal in aging ovaries if oocytes are retrieved at a younger age.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Protein & Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (pESCs) have been generated in several mammalian species from parthenogenetic embryos that would otherwise die around mid-gestation. However, previous reports suggest that pESCs derived from in vivo ovulated (IVO) mature oocytes show limited pluripotency, as evidenced by low chimera production, high tissue preference and especially deficiency in germline competence, a critical test for genetic integrity and pluripotency of ESCs. Here, we report efficient generation of germline-competent pESC lines (named as IVM pESCs) from parthenogenetic embryos developed from immature oocytes of adult mouse ovaries following in vitro maturation (IVM) and artificial activation. In contrast, pESCs derived from IVO oocytes show defective germline competence, consistent with previous reports. Further, IVM pESCs resemble more ESCs from fertilized embryos (fESCs) than do IVO pESCs on genome-wide DNA methylation and global protein profiles. In addition, IVM pESCs express higher levels of Blimp1, Lin28 and Stella, relative to fESCs, and in their embryoid bodies following differentiation. This may indicate differences in differentiation potentially to the germline. The mechanisms for acquisition of pluripotency and germline competency of IVM pESCs from immature oocytes remain to be determined.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian parthenogenetic embryos are not viable and die because of defects in placental development and genomic imprinting. Parthenogenetic ESCs (pESCs) derived from parthenogenetic embryos might advance regenerative medicine by avoiding immuno-rejection. However, previous reports suggest that pESCs may fail to differentiate and contribute to some organs in chimeras, including muscle and pancreas, and it remains unclear whether pESCs themselves can form all tissue types in the body. We found that derivation of pESCs is more efficient than of ESCs derived from fertilized embryos, in association with reduced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in parthenogenetic embryos and their inner cell mass outgrowth. Furthermore, in vitro culture modifies the expression of imprinted genes in pESCs, and these cells, being functionally indistinguishable from fertilized embryo-derived ESCs, can contribute to all organs in chimeras. Even more surprisingly, our study shows that live parthenote pups were produced from pESCs through tetraploid embryo complementation, which contributes to placenta development. This is the first demonstration that pESCs are capable of full-term development and can differentiate into all cell types and functional organs in the body.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Stem Cells
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    ABSTRACT: Authentic bovine embryonic stem (ES) cell lines have not been established despite progress made for more than two decades. Isolation and culture of primary ES cell colonies are the first critical step towards establishment of stable ES cell lines. Here we report a novel method designated as "Separate and Seed" that contributes remarkably to efficient derivation of bovine primary ES-like cell colonies from blastocysts. These primary cultured bovine ES-like cells exhibit morphology typical of ES cells and express pluripotent molecular markers including Oct4, Nanog and alkaline phosphatase. Interestingly, bovine primary ES-like cell colonies distinctively express both stage-specific embryonic antigens 1 and 4 (SSEA1 and SSEA4), unlike mouse and human ES cells. These pluripotent markers may be used for characterization of authentic bovine ES cell lines in later studies. In contrast, whole embryos or inner cell mass (ICM) used for primary culture by conventional methods fails to produce primary bovine ES cell colonies that express all pluripotent stem cell markers shown above. Furthermore, bFGF improves growth and maintained undifferentiated state of bovine ES-like cells for several passages, whereas LIF and ERK inhibitor PD98059 known to promote pluripotency of mouse ES cells are unable to sustain bovine ES-like cells. Although continued efforts are required for improving long-term culture of bovine ES cells, this novel "Separate and Seed" method provides an initial effective step that may eventually lead to derivation of authentic bovine ES cell lines.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A Ecological Genetics and Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian parthenogenetic embryos (pE) are not viable due to placental deficiency, presumably resulting from lack of paternally expressed imprinted genes. Pluripotent parthenogenetic embryonic stem (pES) cells derived from pE could advance regenerative medicine by avoiding immuno-rejection and ethical roadblocks. We attempted to explore the epigenetic status of imprinted genes in the generation of pES cells from parthenogenetic blastocysts, and its relationship to pluripotency of pES cells. Pluripotency was evaluated for developmental and differentiation potential in vivo, based on contributions of pES cells to chimeras and development to day 9.5 of pES fetuses complemented by tetraploid embryos (TEC). Consistently, pE and fetuses failed to express paternally expressed imprinted genes, but pES cells expressed those genes in a pattern resembling that of fertilized embryos (fE) and fertilized embryonic stem (fES) cells derived from fE. Like fE and fES cells, but unlike pE or fetuses, pES cells and pES cell–fetuses complemented by TEC exhibited balanced methylation of Snrpn, Peg1 and U2af1-rs1. Coincidently, global methylation increased in pE but decreased in pES cells, further suggesting dramatic epigenetic reprogramming occurred during isolation and culture of pES cells. Moreover, we identified decreased methylation of Igf2r, Snrpn, and especially U2af1-rs1, in association with increased contributions of pES cells to chimeras. Our data show that in vitro culture changes epigenetic status of imprinted genes during isolation of pES cells from their progenitor embryos and that increased expression of U2af1-rs1 and Snrpn and decreased expression of Igf2r correlate with pluripotency of pES cells.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: The conventional method for producing embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived knockout or transgenic mice involves injection of ES cells into normal, diploid blastocysts followed by several rounds of breeding of resultant chimeras and thus is a time-consuming and inefficient procedure. F0 ES cell pups can also be derived directly from tetraploid embryo complementation, which requires fusion of two-cell embryos. Recently, F0 ES cell pups have been produced by injection of ES cells into eight-cell embryos using a laser-assisted micromanipulation system. We report a simple method for producing F0 ES cell germline-competent mice by piezo injection of ES cells into four- or eight-cell embryos. The efficiency of producing live, transgenic mice by this method is higher than that with the tetraploid blastocyst complementation method. This efficient and economical technique for directly producing F0 ES cell offspring can be applicable in many laboratories for creating genetically manipulated mice using ES cell technology and also for stringent testing of the developmental potency of new ES cell or other types of pluripotent stem cell lines.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Stem Cells

Publication Stats

144 Citations
30.52 Total Impact Points


  • 2011
    • Nankai University
      • Department of Genetics and Cell Biology
      T’ien-ching-shih, Tianjin Shi, China
  • 2008-2011
    • Sun Yat-Sen University
      • School of Life Sciences
      Guangzhou, Guangdong Sheng, China