New hPSC SOX9 and INS Reporter Cell Lines Facilitate the Observation and Optimization of Differentiation into Insulin-Producing Cells


Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into insulin-producing stem cell-derived beta cells harbors great potential for research and therapy of diabetes. SOX9 plays a crucial role during development of the pancreas and particularly in the development of insulin-producing cells as SOX9+ cells form the source for NEUROG3+ endocrine progenitor cells. For the purpose of easy monitoring of differentiation efficiencies into pancreatic progenitors and insulin-producing cells, we generated new reporter lines by knocking in a P2A-H-2Kk-F2A-GFP2 reporter gene into the SOX9-locus and a P2A-mCherry reporter gene into the INS-locus mediated by CRISPR/CAS9-technology. The knock-ins enabled co-expression of the endogenous and reporter genes and report on the endogenous gene expression. Furthermore, FACS and MACS enabled the purification of pancreatic progenitors and insulin-producing cells. Using these cell lines, we established a new differentiation protocol geared towards SOX9+ cells to efficiently drive human pluripotent stem cells into glucose-responsive beta cells. Our new protocol offers an alternative route towards stem cell-derived beta cells, pointing out the importance of Wnt/beta-catenin inhibition and the efficacy of EGF for the development of pancreatic progenitors, as well as the significance of 3D culture for the functionality of the generated beta cells. © 2021. The Author(s).

Authors Dettmer R, Niwolik I, Mehmeti I, Jörns A, Naujok O
Journal Stem cell reviews and reports
Publication Date 2021 Dec;17(6):2193-2209
PubMed 34415483
PubMed Central PMC8599335
DOI 10.1007/s12015-021-10232-9

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