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Biochem Biophys Res Commun December 2, 2016; 481 (1-2): 176-181.

Inhibition of FGF signaling accelerates neural crest cell differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells.

Jaroonwitchawan T , Muangchan P , Noisa P .

Neural crest (NC) is a transient population, arising during embryonic development and capable of differentiating into various somatic cells. The defects of neural crest development leads to neurocristopathy. Several signaling pathways were revealed their significance in NC cell specification. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is recognized as an important signaling during NC development, for instance Xenopus and avian; however, its contributions in human species are remained elusive. Here we used human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to investigate the consequences of FGF inhibition during NC cell differentiation. The specific-FGF receptor inhibitor, SU5402, was used in this investigation. The inhibition of FGF did not found to affect the proliferation or death of hPSC-derived NC cells, but promoted hPSCs to commit NC cell fate. NC-specific genes, including PAX3, SLUG, and TWIST1, were highly upregulated, while hPSC genes, such as OCT4, and E-CAD, rapidly reduced upon FGF signaling blockage. Noteworthy, TFAP-2α, a marker of migratory NC cells, abundantly presented in SU5402-induced cells. This accelerated NC cell differentiation could be due to the activation of Notch signaling upon the blockage of ERK1/2 phosphorylation, since NICD was increased by SU5402. Altogether, this study proposed the contributions of FGF signaling in controlling human NC cell differentiation from hPSCs, the crosstalk between FGF and Notch, and might imply to the influences of FGF signaling in neurocristophatic diseases.

PubMed ID: 27816457
Article link: Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: cad notch1 pax3 pou5f3.1 snai2 twist1