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Genes Dev. 2002 Apr 1;16(7):784-9.

Differentiation of embryonic stem cells is induced by GATA factors.

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  • 1Stem Cell Regulation Research, Area of Molecular Therapeutics, Course of Advanced Medicine, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Extraembryonic endoderm (ExE) is differentiated from the inner cell mass of the late blastocyst-stage embryo to form visceral and parietal endoderm, both of which have an important role in early embryogenesis. The essential roles of Gata-6 and Gata-4 on differentiation of visceral endoderm have been identified by analyses of knockout mice. Here we report that forced expression of either Gata-6 or Gata-4 in embryonic stem (ES) cells is sufficient to induce the proper differentiation program towards ExE. We believe that this is the first report of a physiological differentiation event induced by the ectopic expression of a transcription factor in ES cells.

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