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Cell Biol Int. 2015 Jan;39(1):121-7. doi: 10.1002/cbin.10335. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Expression of ganglioside 9-O acetyl GD3 in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells.

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Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Biologia Estrutural e Bioimagem, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) express a transient and heterogeneous pattern of molecules, which suggests a notable mechanism to control self-renewal avoid the differentiation into germ layers. We show that 9-O-acetyl GD3 (9OacGD3), a highly expressed b-series ganglioside in neural stem (NS) cells, is expressed in undifferentiated mouse ES cells in a heterogeneous fashion. After sorting, undifferentiated 9OacGD3(+) ES cell population had higher levels of nestin and Sox2 mRNA than the 9OacGD3(-) cells. Even with elevated expression of these neural transcription factors, 9OacGD3(+) cells did not give rise to more neural progenitors than 9OacGD3(-) cells. Expression of 9OacGD3 was recovered from 9OacGD3(-) cell population, demonstrating that expression of this ganglioside in mouse embryonic stem cells is transient, and does not reflect cell fate. Our findings show that the ganglioside 9OacGD3 is expressed heterogeneously and transiently in ES cells, and this expression corresponds to higher levels of Sox2 and Nestin transcripts.


9-O-acetyl GD3; development; embryonic stem cells; ganglioside; neural stem cells; pluripotency; undifferentiation

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