Influencing hematopoietic differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells using soluble heparin and heparan sulfate saccharides.
AffiliationSchool of Materials, Materials Science Centre, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom.
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AbstractHeparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) encompass some of the most abundant macromolecules on the surface of almost every cell type. Heparan sulfate (HS) chains provide a key interaction surface for the binding of numerous proteins such as growth factors and morphogens, helping to define the ability of a cell to respond selectively to environmental cues. The specificity of HS-protein interactions are governed predominantly by the order and positioning of sulfate groups, with distinct cell types expressing unique sets of HS epitopes. Embryos deficient in HS-synthesis (Ext1(-/-)) exhibit pre-gastrulation lethality and lack recognizable organized mesoderm and extraembryonic tissues. Here we demonstrate that embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from Ext1(-/-) embryos are unable to differentiate into hematopoietic lineages, instead retaining ESC marker expression throughout embryoid body (EB) culture. However hematopoietic differentiation can be restored by the addition of soluble heparin. Consistent with specific size and composition requirements for HS:growth factor signaling, chains measuring at least 12 saccharides were required for partial rescue of hematopoiesis with longer chains (18 saccharides or more) required for complete rescue. Critically N- and 6-O-sulfate groups were essential for rescue. Heparin addition restored the activity of multiple signaling pathways including bone morphogenic protein (BMP) with activation of phospho-SMADs re-established by the addition of heparin. Heparin addition to wild-type cultures also altered the outcome of differentiation, promoting hematopoiesis at low concentrations, yet inhibiting blood formation at high concentrations. Thus altering the levels of HS and HS sulfation within differentiating ESC cultures provides an attractive and accessible mechanism for influencing cell fate.
CitationInfluencing hematopoietic differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells using soluble heparin and heparan sulfate saccharides. 2011, 286 (8):6241-52 J Biol Chem
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry