Clonal variation of human induced pluripotent stem cells for induction into the germ cell fate


The mechanisms for human germ cell development have remained largely unknown, due to the difficulty in obtaining suitable experimental materials. The establishment of an in vitro system to reconstitute human germ cell development will thus provide a critical opportunity to understand its mechanisms at a molecular level. It has previously been shown that human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are first induced into incipient mesoderm-like cells (iMeLCs), which are in turn induced into primordial germ-cell like cells (PGCLCs) with gene expression properties similar to early migratory PGCs. Here, we report that the efficiency of PGCLC induction varies among hiPSC clones, and, interestingly, the clonal variations in PGCLC induction efficiency are reflected in the gene expression states of the iMeLCs. Remarkably, the expression levels of EOMES, MIXL1, or T in the iMeLCs are positively correlated with the efficiency of subsequent PGCLC generation, while the expressions of CDH1, SOX3, or FGF2 are negatively correlated. These results indicate that the expression changes of these genes occurring during iMeLC induction are key markers indicative of successful induction of PGCLCs, and furthermore, that hiPSC clones have different properties that influence their responsivity to the iMeLC induction. Our study thus provides important insights into the mechanism of hPGC specification as well as the development of a better strategy for inducing human germ cell fate from PSCs in vitro. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please

Authors Yokobayashi S, Okita K, Nakagawa M, Nakamura T, Yabuta Y, Yamamoto T, Saitou M
Journal Biology of reproduction
Publication Date 2017 Jun 1;96(6):1154-1166
PubMed 28453617
DOI 10.1093/biolre/iox038

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