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Embryonic stem cell differentiation system for evaluating gene functions involved in physiological megakaryocytic differentiation

Authors
  • Okada, Yoshiaki
  • Yonekura, Masaaki
  • Watanabe, Miho
  • Nakai, Tomoko
  • Wakimura, Atsuko
  • Shimizu, Mikiko
  • Kamikawa, Yuko
  • Kitayama, Mie
  • Kitajima, Kenji
  • Aird, William C.
  • Doi, Takefumi
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Publisher
Elsevier BV
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Volume
419
Issue
3
Pages
477–481
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.02.021
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Megakaryocytic differentiation is accompanied by marked morphological changes induced by endomitosis and proplatelet formation. Molecular mechanisms underlying this unique cell differentiation process have been investigated by gain/loss-of-function studies using leukemic cell lines. However, these cell lines cannot completely mimic physiological megakaryocytic differentiation, including the morphological changes, and sometimes lead to contradictory results between cell lines. The goal of this study was to establish a novel cell differentiation system that completely mimics physiological megakaryocytic differentiation for analyzing gene function. To that end, we used homologous recombination to prepare an embryonic stem (ES) cell line containing a GFP-transgene driven by the PF4 promoter at the Hprt locus. Differentiation of these cells resulted in megakaryocytes and proplatelets, suggesting physiological megakaryocytic differentiation. However, the number of GFP-expressing cells was low (1.7% GFP+ cells among CD41+ cells). Insertion of full-length or small core β-globin insulators on either side of the transgene significantly increased the number of GFP-expressing cells (∼60% GFP+ cells among CD41+ cells), and GFP-expression was specifically observed in megakaryocytic cells. Similar results were obtained with other ES cells containing a GPIIb-GFP transgene. Altogether, we have succeeded in efficiently expressing exogenous genes specifically in differentiating megakaryocytes and in establishing a novel ES cell differentiation system for analyzing gene function involved in physiological megakaryocytic differentiation.

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