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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e42580. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042580. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Gene expression signatures of extracellular matrix and growth factors during embryonic stem cell differentiation.

Author information

1
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

Pluripotent stem cells are uniquely capable of differentiating into somatic cell derivatives of all three germ lineages, therefore holding tremendous promise for developmental biology studies and regenerative medicine therapies. Although temporal patterns of phenotypic gene expression have been relatively well characterized during the course of differentiation, coincident patterns of endogenous extracellular matrix (ECM) and growth factor expression that accompany pluripotent stem cell differentiation remain much less well-defined. Thus, the objective of this study was to examine the global dynamic profiles of ECM and growth factor genes associated with early stages of pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation. Gene expression analysis of ECM and growth factors by ESCs differentiating as embryoid bodies for up to 14 days was assessed using PCR arrays (172 unique genes total), and the results were examined using a variety of data mining methods. As expected, decreases in the expression of genes regulating pluripotent stem cell fate preceded subsequent increases in morphogen expression associated with differentiation. Pathway analysis generated solely from ECM and growth factor gene expression highlighted morphogenic cell processes within the embryoid bodies, such as cell growth, migration, and intercellular signaling, that are required for primitive tissue and organ developmental events. In addition, systems analysis of ECM and growth factor gene expression alone identified intracellular molecules and signaling pathways involved in the progression of pluripotent stem cell differentiation that were not contained within the array data set. Overall, these studies represent a novel framework to dissect the complex, dynamic nature of the extracellular biochemical milieu of stem cell microenvironments that regulate pluripotent cell fate decisions and morphogenesis.

PMID:
23077480
PMCID:
PMC3471908
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0042580
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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