Stage-specific signaling through TGF-beta family members and WNT regulates patterning and pancreatic specification of human pluripotent stem cells

M Cristina Nostro, Farida Sarangi, Shinichiro Ogawa, Audrey Holtzinger, Barbara Corneo, Xueling Li, Suzanne J Micallef, In-Hyun Park, Christina Basford, Michael B Wheeler, George Q Daley, Andrew G Elefanty, Edouard G Stanley, Gordon Keller

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    307 Citations (Scopus)


    The generation of insulin-producing beta-cells from human pluripotent stem cells is dependent on efficient endoderm induction and appropriate patterning and specification of this germ layer to a pancreatic fate. In this study, we elucidated the temporal requirements for TGFbeta family members and canonical WNT signaling at these developmental stages and show that the duration of nodal/activin A signaling plays a pivotal role in establishing an appropriate definitive endoderm population for specification to the pancreatic lineage. WNT signaling was found to induce a posterior endoderm fate and at optimal concentrations enhanced the development of pancreatic lineage cells. Inhibition of the BMP signaling pathway at specific stages was essential for the generation of insulin-expressing cells and the extent of BMP inhibition required varied widely among the cell lines tested. Optimal stage-specific manipulation of these pathways resulted in a striking 250-fold increase in the levels of insulin expression and yielded populations containing up to 25 C-peptide+ cells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)861 - 871
    Number of pages11
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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