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Characterization of signaling pathways involved in differenttiation of pluripotent stem cells towards liver cells

Embryonic stem cells can undergo extensive self-renewing cell divisionsand differentiate into all cell types.  </>The Verfaillie lab developed a protocol to differentiate pluripotent stem cells towards mature hepatocyte-like cells. The protocol uses growth factor cocktails that play a role in liver embryonic development, and directs the cells stepwisethrough primitive streak, mesendoderm, definitive endoderm, and finallyto hepatocyte-like cells. Tgf members play an important role indirecting this differentiation. The purpose of this project is to studythe mechanisms underlying the ability of Tgf family members to fate pluripotent cells towards endoderm. For this study we will knock down different molecules of the Tgf signaling pathway, one by one using esiRNAs, and assessing their effect on endoderm formation and their effect on the other Tgf family members .
With this study we hope gain insights into the molecular basis that is underlying certaincell fate decisions and hereby contribute in enhancing the current differentiation protocol towards hepatocyte-like cells.
Date:1 Aug 2010  →  31 Jul 2014
Keywords:Pluripotent, Embryonic, Hepatocyte-like.
Project type:PhD project