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Mech Dev. 1994 Feb;45(2):163-71.

Maintenance of the pluripotential phenotype of embryonic stem cells through direct activation of gp130 signalling pathways.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University, Japan.


Propagation of the undifferentiated pluripotential phenotype of embryonic stem (ES) cells is dependent on the cytokine differentiation inhibiting activity/leukemia inhibitory factor (DIA/LIF). The DIA/LIF receptor complex is a heterodimer of DIA/LIF receptor (DIA/LIF-R) and gp130. The latter is also a component of the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor complex. We report that a combination of IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R), which can induce homodimerisation of gp130 and activation of signalling processes, sustains self-renewal of pluripotential ES cells. Our findings indicate that the IL-6/sIL-6R complex acts on ES cells through gp130 alone, bypassing DIA/LIF-R, and therefore implicate gp130 as the key component in the signalling pathway responsible for stem cell renewal.

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