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Cell Transplant. 2013;22(1):147-58. doi: 10.3727/096368912X653057. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

The combined expression of Pdx1 and MafA with either Ngn3 or NeuroD improves the differentiation efficiency of mouse embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing cells.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.


The use of pancreatic β-cells differentiated from embryonic stem (ES) cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is a promising strategy in cell therapy. Pancreatic β-cell development is regulated by the sequential expression of a molecular network of transcription factors. In this experiment, we adopted a three-step differentiation protocol to differentiate mES (mouse ES) cells into insulin-secreting cells and overexpressed transcription factors by adenoviral vectors at various combinations at different time of differentiation. We found that the coexpression of Pdx1 and MafA with either Ngn3 or NeuroD, especially at the final stage of the three-step differentiation, significantly increased the differentiation efficiency. It also increased the glucose-stimulated insulin and C-peptide secretion in insulin-secreting cells derived from mES cells compared to the control green fluorescent protein (GFP) vector-transduced group. For the first time, we have demonstrated that the coexpression of Pdx1 and MafA during a specific time window of development can act synergistically with either Ngn3 or NeuroD to promote the differentiation of mES cells into insulin-secreting cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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