Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Stem Cell. 2011 Mar 4;8(3):326-34. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2011.01.001.

FGF2 sustains NANOG and switches the outcome of BMP4-induced human embryonic stem cell differentiation.

Author information

  • 1Morgridge Institute for Research, Madison, WI 53715-7365, USA.


Here, we show that as human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) exit the pluripotent state, NANOG can play a key role in determining lineage outcome. It has previously been reported that BMPs induce differentiation of human ESCs into extraembryonic lineages. Here, we find that FGF2, acting through the MEK-ERK pathway, switches BMP4-induced human ESC differentiation outcome to mesendoderm, characterized by the uniform expression of T (brachyury) and other primitive streak markers. We also find that MEK-ERK signaling prolongs NANOG expression during BMP-induced differentiation, that forced NANOG expression results in FGF-independent BMP4 induction of mesendoderm, and that knockdown of NANOG greatly reduces T induction. Together, our results demonstrate that FGF2 signaling switches the outcome of BMP4-induced differentiation of human ESCs by maintaining NANOG levels through the MEK-ERK pathway.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk