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Exp Cell Res. 2003 May 15;286(1):40-56.

The SHB adapter protein is required for efficient multilineage differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells.

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Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Box 571, Husargatan 3, 75123 Uppsala, Sweden.


The SH2 domain-containing adapter protein SHB transmits signals from receptor tyrosine kinases regulating diverse processes such as apoptosis and differentiation. To elucidate a role for SHB in cell differentiation, wild-type and R522K (inactive SH2 domain-mutant) SHB were transfected and expressed in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Microarray analysis using Affymetrix U74A chips on undifferentiated ES cells and expression of selected differentiation markers after generation of embryoid bodies were subsequently assessed. Wild-type SHB altered the expression of 16 genes in undifferentiated ES cells, many of which have been found to relate to neural cell function. R522K-SHB altered the expression of 128 genes in undifferentiated ES cells, the majority of which were decreased, including several transcription factors related to development. When grown as embryoid bodies, after 4 days R522K-SHB ES cells were already found to display a different morphological appearance, with an impaired cavity formation that occurred in the absence of altered OCT4 expression. This impairment was reversed by exogenous addition of Matrigel. In addition, R522K-SHB embryoid bodies displayed reduced mRNA contents of the liver protein albumin, the pancreatic proteins amylase, glucagon and insulin after 20 days of differentiation. Matrigel did not restore the impaired expression of albumin in the R522K-SHB cells. Expression of the mesodermal marker cardiac actin and the neural marker neurofilament heavy chain alpha was not affected by wild-type or R522K-SHB overexpression. It is concluded that SHB is required for efficient differentiation of ES cells into embryoid bodies with normal cavities and cells belonging to endodermal lineages.

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