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Scientists Found Suppression of Nodal Signaling Predisposes Epiblast Stem Cells to Ectodermal Fate
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Mechanism of cell fate determination during gastrulation is one of the main scientific questions in development and stem cell field. During gastrulation, epiblast cells give rise to progenitors of ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, which subsequently constitute the whole animal body. Mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) provide as an excellent in vitro system to study imperative post-implantation events of in vivo mammalian development. However, there is no in vitro cell model which could mimic the specification and property of ectoderm. Furthermore, whether the expression of the lineage-specific genes and modification of the epigenome could distinguish ectoderm from the epiblast remains unknown.
Dr. LIU Chang and her colleagues from the lab of Prof. JING Naihe at Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIBCB, CAS) , reported a self-renewable Nodal-inhibited EpiSCs from EpiSCs. They analyzed the gene expression profile of these cells through RNA-seq and found that Nodal-inhibited EpiSCs display similar gene expression pattern compared to the embryonic ectoderm. Moreover, the chromatin modifications of these cells reflect the priming of ectoderm lineage-related genes for expression. Nodal-inhibited EpiSCs show enhanced ectoderm differentiation in vitro and contribute to the neuroectoderm and the surface ectoderm in postimplantation chimeras but lose the propensity for mesendoderm differentiation in vitro and in chimeras. Their findings provide an experimental model to investigate the molecular characters of the epiblast-derived ectoderm and have the potential to foster the ectoderm-lineage related translational study.
The study, entitled “Suppressing Nodal Signaling Activity Predisposes Ectodermal Differentiation of Epiblast Stem Cells”, was published online in Stem Cell Reports on June 28, 2018. The work was supported by grants from the National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
JING Naihe
Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, CHINA
Tel: +86-21-5492-1381
Keywords: nodal signaling; epiblast stem cells; transcriptome; histone modification; ectoderm propensity


Suppression of Nodal Signaling Predisposes Epiblast Stem Cells to Ectodermal Fate
(Image provided by Prof. JING Naihe’s group)


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