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Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol. 2012 Nov;Chapter 1:Unit 1F.13. doi: 10.1002/9780470151808.sc01f13s23.

Serum-free generation of multipotent mesoderm (Kdr+) progenitor cells in mouse embryonic stem cells for functional genomics screening.

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Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA.


This unit describes a robust protocol for producing multipotent Kdr-expressing mesoderm progenitor cells in serum-free conditions, and for functional genomics screening using these cells. Kdr-positive cells are able to differentiate into a wide array of mesodermal derivatives, including vascular endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, hematopoietic progenitors, and smooth muscle cells. The efficient generation of such progenitor cells is of particular interest because it permits subsequent steps in cardiovascular development to be analyzed in detail, including deciphering the mechanisms that direct differentiation. In addition, the oligonucleotide transfection protocol used to functionally screen siRNA and miRNA libraries is a powerful tool to reveal networks of genes, signaling proteins, and miRNAs that control the diversification of cardiovascular lineages from multipotent progenitors. Technical limitations, troubleshooting, and potential applications of these methods are discussed.

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