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Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1307:329-43. doi: 10.1007/7651_2013_59.

Dual-SMAD Inhibition/WNT Activation-Based Methods to Induce Neural Crest and Derivatives from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

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  • 1Developmental Biology Program, Center for Stem Cell Biology, Sloan-Kettering Institute, 1275 York Ave, New York, NY, 10065, USA.


The neural crest (NC) is a transient population of multipotent cells giving rise to the peripheral nervous system, skin pigmentation, heart, and facial mesenchyme. The broad cell fate potential of NC makes it an attractive cell fate to derive from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) for exploring embryonic development, modeling disease, and generating cells for transplantation. Here, we discuss recent publications and methods for efficiently differentiating hPSCs into NC. We also provide methods to direct NC into two different terminal fates: melanocytes and sensory neurons.

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