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DNA Cell Biol. 2019 May;38(5):410-422. doi: 10.1089/dna.2018.4458. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Wnt3a Activates the WNT-YAP/TAZ Pathway to Sustain CDX2 Expression in Bovine Trophoblast Stem Cells.

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1 State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Regulation and Breeding of Grassland Livestocks, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China.
2 Department of Urology, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region People's Hospital, Hohhot, China.
3 State Key Laboratories of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
4 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Xenotransplantation, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.


Trophoblast stem cells (TSCs), the precursors of placental cells, are effective for studying placental formation in vitro. Using a dual inhibition (2i) medium and mixed L-Wnt3a/mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder cells, we previously established the bovine trophoblast cell line BTS-1. In this study, we used bovine fetal fibroblasts and added Wnt3a to the 2i medium to establish another bovine TSC line (BTSW). BTSW cells expressed pluripotency markers, including NANOG, SOX2, OCT4, TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81, SSEA4, CDH1, and KRT18, and TSC markers CDX2, TEAD4, and ESRRB. Methylation sequencing of the promoter regions of NANOG, OCT4, and CDX2 revealed no significant differences between BTS-1 and BTSW cells. Removal of Wnt3a from the culture medium resulted in downregulation (p < 0.05) of NANOG, OCT4, CDX2, and TSC marker genes, and upregulation of TSC differentiation markers, including MASH2, GCM1, and PAG. Western blotting indicated activation of the WNT-YAP/TAZ signaling pathway in BTS-1 and BTSW cells, consequently activating TEAD4 transcription. However, this pathway was not activated in BCFF cells, an established bovine embryonic stem-like cell line that expresses OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG, but not CDX2. Thus, Wnt3a may play a critical role in bovine TSC maintenance by activating and regulating CDX2 expression through the WNT-YAP/TAZ signaling pathway.


2i; WNT-YAP/TAZ signaling pathway; Wnt3a; bovine; trophoblast stem cell

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