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Dev Biol. 2003 Aug 15;260(2):404-13.

Molecular signature of human embryonic stem cells and its comparison with the mouse.

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Laboratory of Vertebrate Molecular Embryology, The Rockefeller University, 1230, York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The molecular mechanism underlying pluripotency is largely unknown. Here, we provide the first global transcriptional profile of the state of "stemness" in human embryonic stem cells (HESCs). We have identified a set of 918 genes enriched in undifferentiated HESCs compared with their differentiated counterparts. These include ligand/receptor pairs and secreted inhibitors of the FGF, TGFbeta/BMP, and Wnt pathways, highlighting a prevalent role for these pathways in HESCs. Importantly, a significant number of HESCs-enriched genes, including several signaling components, are found to be intersected with published mouse embryonic stem cell data, indicating that a "core molecular program" is shared between the two pluripotent stem cells.

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