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J Cell Biol. 2005 Apr 25;169(2):309-20. Epub 2005 Apr 18.

Neural crest stem cell maintenance by combinatorial Wnt and BMP signaling.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH-Hönggerberg, Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Canonical Wnt signaling instructively promotes sensory neurogenesis in early neural crest stem cells (eNCSCs) (Lee, H.Y., M. Kleber, L. Hari, V. Brault, U. Suter, M.M. Taketo, R. Kemler, and L. Sommer. 2004. Science. 303:1020-1023). However, during normal development Wnt signaling induces a sensory fate only in a subpopulation of eNCSCs while other cells maintain their stem cell features, despite the presence of Wnt activity. Hence, factors counteracting Wnt signaling must exist. Here, we show that bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling antagonizes the sensory fate-inducing activity of Wnt/beta-catenin. Intriguingly, Wnt and BMP act synergistically to suppress differentiation and to maintain NCSC marker expression and multipotency. Similar to NCSCs in vivo, NCSCs maintained in culture alter their responsiveness to instructive growth factors with time. Thus, stem cell development is regulated by combinatorial growth factor activities that interact with changing cell-intrinsic cues.

PMID:
15837799
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2171862
Free PMC Article

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