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Transcriptome characterization elucidates signaling networks that control human ES cell growth and differentiation.

Brandenberger R., Wei H., Zhang S., Lei S., Murage J., Fisk G.J., Li Y., Xu C., Fang R., Guegler K., Rao M.S., Mandalam R., Lebkowski J., Stanton L.W.

Human embryonic stem (hES) cells hold promise for generating an unlimited supply of cells for replacement therapies. To characterize hES cells at the molecular level, we obtained 148,453 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from undifferentiated hES cells and three differentiated derivative subpopulations. Over 32,000 different transcripts expressed in hES cells were identified, of which more than 16,000 do not match closely any gene in the UniGene public database. Queries to this EST database revealed 532 significantly upregulated and 140 significantly downregulated genes in undifferentiated hES cells. These data highlight changes in the transcriptional network that occur when hES cells differentiate. Among the differentially regulated genes are several components of signaling pathways and transcriptional regulators that likely play key roles in hES cell growth and differentiation. The genomic data presented here may facilitate the derivation of clinically useful cell types from hES cells.

Nat. Biotechnol. 22:707-716(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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