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Stem Cells. 2005 Jun-Jul;23(6):791-804.

Somatic stem cell marker prominin-1/CD133 is expressed in embryonic stem cell-derived progenitors.

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Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Corrensstr. 3, D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany.


Prominin-1/CD133 is a plasma membrane marker found in several types of somatic stem cells, including hematopoietic and neural stem cells. To study its role during development and with differentiation, we analyzed its temporal and spatial expression (mRNA and protein) in preimplantation embryos, undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, and differentiated ES cell progeny. In early embryos, prominin-1 was expressed in trophoblast but not in cells of the inner cell mass; however, prominin-1 transcripts were detected in undifferentiated ES cells. Both ES-derived cells committed to differentiation and early progenitor cells coexpressed prominin-1 with early lineage markers, including the cytoskeletal markers (nestin, cytokeratin 18, desmin), fibulin-1, and valosin-containing protein. After spontaneous differentiation at terminal stages, prominin-1 expression was downregulated and no coexpression with markers characteristic for neuroectodermal, mesodermal, and endodermal cells was found. Upon induction of neuronal differentiation, some prominin-1-positive cells, which coexpressed nestin and showed the typical morphology of neural progenitor cells, persisted until terminal stages of differentiation. However, no coexpression of prominin-1 with markers of differentiated neural cells was detected. In conclusion, we present the somatic stem cell marker prominin-1 as a new parameter to define ES-derived committed and early progenitor cells.

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