- Research article
- Open Access
Cytotoxicity and activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway in mouse embryonic stem cells treated with four GSK3 inhibitors
© Naujok et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
- Received: 9 December 2013
- Accepted: 17 April 2014
- Published: 29 April 2014
Small membrane-permeable molecules are now widely used during maintenance and differentiation of embryonic stem cells of different species. In particular the glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) is an interesting target, since its chemical inhibition activates the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway. In the present comparative study four GSK3 inhibitors were characterized.
Cytotoxicity and potential to activate the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway were tested using the commonly used GSK3 inhibitors BIO, SB-216763, CHIR-99021, and CHIR-98014. Wnt/beta-catenin-dependent target genes were measured by quantitative PCR to confirm the Wnt-reporter assay and finally EC50-values were calculated.
CHIR-99021 and SB-216763 had the lowest toxicities in mouse embryonic stem cells and CHIR-98014 and BIO the highest toxicities. Only CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014 lead to a strong induction of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway, whereas BIO and SB-216763 showed a minor or no increase in activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway over the natural ligand Wnt3a. The data from the Wnt-reporter assay were confirmed by gene expression analysis of the TCF/LEF regulated gene T.
Out of the four tested GSK3 inhibitors, only CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014 proved to be potent pharmacological activators of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. But only in the case of CHIR-99021 high potency was combined with very low toxicity.
- Embryonic Stem Cell
- Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell
- Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Line
- Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Culture
- Embryonic Stem Cell Study
Small molecules are attractive chemical compounds to control pluripotency in murine embryonic stem cells [1–6]. They may also be used to direct embryonic stem (ES) cell fates during differentiation [7–10] or enhance the reprogramming of adult cell types into iPS cells . In contrast to growth factors or cytokines, they offer distinct advantages such as a well-defined activity, good stability upon heat exposure in a cell culture incubator, less batch-to-batch differences, and modest costs. Chemical inhibitors of the glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) are very attractive tools as they allow the control of pluripotency in mouse and rat ES cells [5, 6] and may be used to direct human ES cells into mesodermal or endodermal cell fates via activation of the canonical Wnt-pathway [12–16].
The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway controls miscellaneous biological processes during tissue development by autocrine and paracrine activities . When Wnt-signaling is activated by binding of secreted Wnt-protein to its receptor, dishevelled (Dvl/Dsh) is recruited and inhibits the GSK3 located in the beta-catenin destruction complex . This leads to an accumulation of free non-phosphorylated beta-catenin in the cytosol, which translocates to the nucleus and transactivates Wnt-target genes together with the T-cell factor (TCF)/lymphoid-enhancing factor (LEF) family of transcription factors . Thus, chemical inhibition of the GSK3 (herewith referred to as GSK3i) leads to a pharmacological activation of the canonical Wnt-signaling pathway. However, the compound to be used in a study should be carefully selected as small molecules may exhibit cytotoxicity, side effects, and differ in activity.
In this study the effect of four commonly used GSK3 inhibitors, namely BIO, SB-216763, CHIR-99021, and CHIR-98014 was analyzed in a comparative fashion in two different mouse embryonic stem cell lines (ES-D3 and ES-CCE). Specifically, the cytotoxicity, the ability to activate the Wnt/beta-catenin-pathway, and the changes in gene and protein expression were analyzed in a defined serum-reduced medium devoid of LIF.
The results show that one of the four tested compounds, CHIR-99021, is optimally suited for strong activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin-pathway without significant concomitant toxicity.
RPMI1640 advanced, KO-DMEM, NEAA, and glutamax were obtained from Life Technologies (Darmstadt, Germany) and fetal calf serum was from (PAA Laboratories/GE Healthcare, Cölbe, Germany). The GSK3 inhibitors BIO, SB-216763, and CHIR-99021, were from Tocris Bioscience (Wiesbaden-Nordenstadt, Germany) and CHIR-98014 was purchased from Axon Medchem (Groningen, Netherlands). Wnt3a was obtained from Peprotech (Hamburg, Germany) and Matrigel was from Corning (Corning, NY, USA). All primers were synthesized by Life Technologies. The RevertAid™ H-Minus M-MuLV reverse transcriptase was purchased from Thermo Fisher Scientific (Braunschweig, Germany). The GoTaq® Taq polymerase was from Promega (Mannheim, Germany) and dNTPs from Genecraft (Münster, Germany). Unless mentioned otherwise, chemicals were obtained from Sigma-Aldrich (Taufkirchen, Germany).
Mouse ES cell culture
To maintain the pluripotency of the mouse ES cell lines ES-D3  and ES-CCE , they were routinely cultured on gelatine-coated dishes in KO-DMEM containing 25 mM glucose supplemented with 15% FCS, 2 mM L-glutamine, 100 μM NEAA, 100 μM 2-mercaptoethanol, penicillin/streptomycin, and 1,000 U/ml LIF (eBiosciences, Frankfurt, Germany) [10, 21]. The medium was changed daily and the cells were passaged 2–3 times per week. The basal medium for the comparative experiments was RPMI advanced supplemented with 0.2% FCS, penicillin/streptomycin and 1-fold glutamax with different concentrations of BIO, SB-216763, CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014. A randomized control was performed with basal medium without growth factors and/or small molecules. Physiological activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin-pathway was tested in medium supplemented with 50 ng/ml Wnt3a.
Cell viability assay
The viability of the mouse ES cells was determined after exposure to different concentrations of GSK3 inhibitors for three days using the MTT assay . The decrease of MTT activity is a reliable metabolism-based test for quantifying cell viability; this decrease correlates with the loss of cell viability. 2,000 cells were seeded overnight on gelatine-coated 96-well plates in LIF-containing ES cell medium. On the next day the medium was changed to medium devoid of LIF and with reduced serum and supplemented with 0.1 – 1 μM BIO, or 1 – 10 μM SB-216763, CHIR-99021 or CHIR-98014. Basal medium without GSK3 inhibitors or DMSO was used as control. All tested conditions were analyzed in triplicates.
Wnt/beta-catenin activity assay
The Wnt/beta-catenin reporter assay was performed with the M50 Super 8× TOPFlash and M51 Super 8× FOPFlash vector containing the firefly luciferase gene under the control of TCF/LEF binding sites (M50 Super 8x TOPFlash) or mutated bindings sites (M51 Super 8× FOPFlash) . 12,500 cells were seeded overnight on gelatine-coated 96-well plates in LIF-containing ES cell medium. On the next day the cells were transfected using Lipofectamine (Life Technologies) with one of the aforementioned vectors plus pGL4.75 [hRluc/CMV] (Promega) encoding the renilla luciferase reporter gene hRluc as a transfection control. Six hours after transfection the medium was changed to medium devoid of LIF, with reduced serum, and supplemented with 0.5 μM Bio, 5 μM SB-2167763, 5 μM CHIR-99021 and 1 μM CHIR-98014. The Dual-Luciferase® reporter assay system (Promega) was employed 48 and 72 h after medium change to follow the luminescence reaction using a GloMax®-multi detection system (Promega).
Gene expression analyses
Total RNA was isolated from the cells using the RNeasy Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany). Briefly, the cells were lysed in Qiazol (Qiagen), the hydrophilic phase was loaded onto RNA spin columns, and RNA was then prepared as instructed. cDNA synthesis was performed with random hexamer primers and 2 μg of the isolated total RNA following the manufacturer’s instructions. 10–20 ng of cDNA was then loaded in each well of a 384-well plate and specific primers were mixed with the GoTaq® PCR master mix according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Primer sequences were (5’-3’): T fw: catcggaacagctctccaacctat, rev: gtgggctggcgttatgactca, Nanog fw: ccctgaggaggaggagaacaaggtc, rev: ccactggtttttctgccaccgc, and Pou5f1 fw: aggcccggaagagaaagcgaacta, rev: tgggggcagaggaaaggatacagc. Each qPCR amplification was performed in triplicates and the gathered data were normalized with qBasePlus (Biogazelle, Zwijnaarde, Belgium) against the housekeeping genes G6pdx, Tbp, and Tuba1a.
Immunofluorescence was performed according to standard procedures. ES cells were treated on 6-well plates with different GSK3 inhibitors and after 48 h 100,000 cells were re-seeded in each cavity of Matrigel-coated glass slides (Zellkontakt, Nörten-Hardenberg, Germany). After 24 h in medium the cells were fixed in 4% (w/v) paraformaldehyde for 45 min at 4°C. Subsequently, the cells were blocked for 20 min in PBS plus 0.2% Triton X-100, 6% BSA, and 1 mg/ml NaBH4. Primary and secondary antibodies were diluted in PBS with 0.1% Triton X-100 and 0.1% BSA. Primary antibodies were incubated on the slides for 2.5 h at room temperature (RT) or overnight at 4°C. Secondary antibodies were incubated on the slides for 1 h at RT. The following primary antibodies were used: anti-Oct3/4 (sc-5279, Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Heidelberg, Germany) and anti-Brachyury (AF2085, R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN, USA). Secondary antibodies were obtained from Dianova (Hamburg, Germany). Finally, the slides were mounted with immunoselect antifading mounting medium containing DAPI (Dianova) to counterstain the nuclei. The stained cells were examined using an Olympus IX81 inverted microscope (Olympus, Hamburg, Germany).
Data were expressed as mean values ± SEM unless stated otherwise. Statistical analyses were performed using the GraphPad Prism software (Graphpad, San Diego, CA, USA) applying Student’s t-test or ANOVA followed by Bonferroni’s or Dunnett’s post hoc test for multiple comparisons.
In detail the viability of ES-D3 cells was reduced by 25.7% at 0.25 μM, 58.7% at 0.5 μM, 68.7% at 0.75 μM and 83.5% at 1 μM BIO. Calculation of the half maximal inhibitory concentration yielded in an IC50 of 0.48 μM for BIO. In presence of SB-216763 the viability of the ES-D3 cells was reduced by 1.7% at 1 μM, 29.8% at 2.5 μM, 55.6% at 5 μM, 56.1% at 7.5 μM and 57.2% at 10 μM SB-216763 with an IC50 of 5.7 μM. In the presence of CHIR-99021 the viability of the ES-D3 cells was reduced by 24.7% at 2.5 μM, 56.3% at 5 μM, 61.9% at 7.5 μM and 69.2% at 10 μM CHIR-99021 with an IC50 of 4.9 μM. CHIR-98014 reduced the viability by 52% at 1 μM and showed the greatest toxicity with increasing concentrations. The IC50 of CHIR-98014 was 1.1 μM (Figure 1A). ES-CCE cells generally showed a higher toxicity after GSK3i exposure (Figure 1B).
Wnt/beta-catenin pathway activation
A similar pattern with slight differences was detected for ES-CCE cells (Figure 2B). Treatment of ES-CCE cells with CHIR-98014 showed a significant increase of Wnt-signaling after 48 and 72 h, whereas CHIR-99021 showed only a significant increase at 72 h compared to random controls or Wnt3a-treated cells. In contrast to ES-D3 cells, a higher luminescence noise was detected for the M51 FOPflash vector transfections, which increased with time. Incubation with BIO or SB-216763 resulted in detectable luminescence signals, which were nevertheless comparable to that of negative or positive controls (Figure 2B).
Changes in gene expression during differentiation and incubation with GSK3 inhibitors
Immunofluorescence staining of Brachyury and Oct3/4 in ES-D3 cells treated with GSK3 inhibitors
In this comparative study the effect of four commonly used GSK3 inhibitors on mouse ES cells was studied with respect to their cytotoxicity and the potential to activate the canonical Wnt-signaling pathway.
The two studied mouse ES cell lines originate from the same mouse strain and were isolated using the same methods [19, 20], nevertheless they responded differently to a treatment with GSK3 inhibitors. The ES-CCE cell line was more prone to GSK3i induced cell death then the ES-D3 cell line. In addition, the activity of these compounds was different in the two cell lines. SB-216763 and CHIR-99021 caused the smallest reduction of the viability in both lines, whereas CHIR-98014 induced a high rate of cell death in ES-D3 cells and in particular in ES-CCE cells. The small molecule BIO, which has been used in a number of embryonic stem cell studies [25–27], was strongly cytotoxic in both ES cell lines already at concentrations below 1 μM. This is a surprising result, since other studies used this inhibitor at much higher concentrations (2-5 μM) [25–28]. In these studies the cytotoxicity was not tested and the inhibitor was used in presence of a high fetal calf serum concentration or knock-out serum replacement concentration, which might have quenched the cytotoxic effect.
With respect to the effect on the canonical Wnt-pathway, CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014 showed the greatest activation potential, which was significantly higher than that of Wnt3a. Thus, GSK3i by these two compounds is a more potent chemical hyperactivator of the canonical Wnt-pathway than the natural ligand Wnt3a.
Surprisingly, SB-216763 caused a weaker activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin-pathway in the TOPflash-assay comparable to that of Wnt3a. This proves that this compound is less suited for GSK3i than the two CHIR-inhibitors. An activation of the Wnt-pathway by BIO in ES-D3 was barely detectable. Only in ES-CCE cells a distinct signal, delayed by 24 h, could be detected. Higher concentrations could not be analyzed due to the high cytotoxicity. Bain and co-workers recommended CHIR-99021 as the most selective GSK3 inhibitor although the tests in this study were performed in a cell-free system and potential cytotoxic effects were not analyzed . Next to the Wnt/beta-catenin-pathway the GSK3 fulfills a myriad of cellular functions . Thus, some effects of the treatment with GSK3 inhibitors might not be related to the Wnt-pathway alone. In this line it is even more important to verify a robust activation of the Wnt-pathway either by analyzing its activity or analyzing proper targets downstream of Wnt/beta-catenin.
It has been previously reported that double-knockout of both GSK3 isoforms in mouse ES cells yielded an induction of T, Pou5F1 (Oct3/4) and Nanog upon differentiation . In the present study we analyzed these three genes during culture conditions that would allow randomized differentiation of mouse ES cells. In confirmation to previous results , gene expression of both pluripotency markers was not decreased in the presence of GSK3i, whereas it was decreased in random controls. This is in line with earlier studies reporting the maintenance of expression of pluripotency factors by GSK3i [3, 4, 31]. Several studies reported that the inhibition of the GSK3, FGF- and ERK-signaling pathways resulted in improved derivation of new mouse ES cell lines [32, 33]. These findings lead to the development of the 3i and 2i media, which are now routinely used for the derivation and culture of mouse and rat ES cells [5, 6].
Additionally, a strong increase in gene expression of T was observed upon GSK3i. The strongest effect was detected for CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014, which confirms the reporter assay results. The increased gene expression yielded Brachyury-positive cells predominantly together with Oct3/4 in case of both CHIRs but not in the presence of BIO and SB-216763. Interestingly, only a small subpopulation accounted for the 2,500-fold increase in T expression as measured by qPCR. This observed heterogeneity raises the question why some cells did not acquire Brachyury-positivity whereas another subpopulation showed a significantly increased Brachyury expression.
Small molecule inhibitors of GSK3 have become valuable reagents for studies on pluripotent stem cells. In murine ES cells they may be used to maintain pluripotency whereas in human ES cells GSKi was shown to be useful in differentiation experiments [15, 25]. The results presented in this study show that mouse ES cell lines can respond differently to GSK3i. Thus, effective and non-toxic concentrations of GSK3 inhibitors and the duration of their treatment need to be carefully titrated for each mouse ES cell line. Two strong GSK3 inhibitors, namely CHIR-99021 and CHIR-98014, were identified and characterized. These inhibitors allowed a pharmacological hyperactivation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway in mouse ES cells, more potently than that achieved by the natural ligand Wnt3a. Thus, these GSK3 inhibitors are very useful compounds for further experimentation with pluripotent cells.
The skilful technical assistance of R. Strauss is gratefully acknowledged. This work has been supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence REBIRTH.
- Bone HK, Damiano T, Bartlett S, Perry A, Letchford J, Ripoll YS, Nelson AS, Welham MJ: Involvement of GSK-3 in regulation of murine embryonic stem cell self-renewal revealed by a series of bisindolylmaleimides. Chem Biol. 2009, 16: 15-27. 10.1016/j.chembiol.2008.11.003.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ye S, Tan L, Yang R, Fang B, Qu S, Schulze EN, Song H, Ying Q, Li P: Pleiotropy of glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibition by CHIR99021 promotes self-renewal of embryonic stem cells from refractory mouse strains. PloS one. 2012, 7: e35892-10.1371/journal.pone.0035892.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kirby LA, Schott JT, Noble BL, Mendez DC, Caseley PS, Peterson SC, Routledge TJ, Patel NV: Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) inhibitor, SB-216763, promotes pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells. PloS one. 2012, 7: e39329-10.1371/journal.pone.0039329.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sanchez-Ripoll Y, Bone HK, Owen T, Guedes AM, Abranches E, Kumpfmueller B, Spriggs RV, Henrique D, Welham MJ: Glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibition enhances translation of pluripotency-associated transcription factors to contribute to maintenance of mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal. PloS one. 2013, 8: e60148-10.1371/journal.pone.0060148.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Li P, Tong C, Mehrian-Shai R, Jia L, Wu N, Yan Y, Maxson RE, Schulze EN, Song H, Hsieh CL, Pera MF, Ying QL: Germline competent embryonic stem cells derived from rat blastocysts. Cell. 2008, 135: 1299-1310. 10.1016/j.cell.2008.12.006.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nichols J, Jones K, Phillips JM, Newland SA, Roode M, Mansfield W, Smith A, Cooke A: Validated germline-competent embryonic stem cell lines from nonobese diabetic mice. Nat Med. 2009, 15: 814-818. 10.1038/nm.1996.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Chen S, Borowiak M, Fox JL, Maehr R, Osafune K, Davidow L, Lam K, Peng LF, Schreiber SL, Rubin LL, Melton D: A small molecule that directs differentiation of human ESCs into the pancreatic lineage. Nat Chem Biol. 2009, 5: 258-265. 10.1038/nchembio.154.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Zhu S, Wurdak H, Wang J, Lyssiotis CA, Peters EC, Cho CY, Wu X, Schultz PG: A small molecule primes embryonic stem cells for differentiation. Cell stem cell. 2009, 4: 416-426. 10.1016/j.stem.2009.04.001.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Borowiak M, Maehr R, Chen S, Chen AE, Tang W, Fox JL, Schreiber SL, Melton DA: Small molecules efficiently direct endodermal differentiation of mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Cell stem cell. 2009, 4: 348-358. 10.1016/j.stem.2009.01.014.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Naujok O, Lenzen S: A critical re-evaluation of CD24-positivity of human embryonic stem cells differentiated into pancreatic progenitors. Stem Cell Rev. 2012, 8: 779-791. 10.1007/s12015-012-9362-y.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Schmole AC, Hubner R, Beller M, Rolfs A, Frech MJ: Small molecules in stem cell research. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2013, 14: 36-45.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- D'Amour KA, Bang AG, Eliazer S, Kelly OG, Agulnick AD, Smart NG, Moorman MA, Kroon E, Carpenter MK, Baetge EE: Production of pancreatic hormone-expressing endocrine cells from human embryonic stem cells. Nat Biotechnol. 2006, 24: 1392-1401. 10.1038/nbt1259.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Mfopou JK, Chen B, Mateizel I, Sermon K, Bouwens L: Noggin, retinoids, and fibroblast growth factor regulate hepatic or pancreatic fate of human embryonic stem cells. Gastroenterology. 2010, 138: 2233-2245. 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.02.056.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kroon E, Martinson LA, Kadoya K, Bang AG, Kelly OG, Eliazer S, Young H, Richardson M, Smart NG, Cunningham J, Agulnick AD, D'Amour KA, Carpenter MK, Baetge EE: Pancreatic endoderm derived from human embryonic stem cells generates glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vivo. Nat Biotechnol. 2008, 26: 443-452. 10.1038/nbt1393.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Tan JY, Sriram G, Rufaihah AJ, Neoh KG, Cao T: Efficient derivation of lateral plate and paraxial mesoderm subtypes from human embryonic stem cells through GSKi-mediated differentiation. Stem Cells Dev. 2013, 22: 1893-1906. 10.1089/scd.2012.0590.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sui L, Bouwens L, Mfopou JK: Signaling pathways during maintenance and definitive endoderm differentiation of embryonic stem cells. Int J Dev Biol. 2013, 57: 1-12. 10.1387/ijdb.120115ls.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Holland JD, Klaus A, Garratt AN, Birchmeier W: Wnt signaling in stem and cancer stem cells. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013, 25: 254-264. 10.1016/j.ceb.2013.01.004.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Doble BW, Woodgett JR: GSK-3: tricks of the trade for a multi-tasking kinase. J Cell Sci. 2003, 116: 1175-1186. 10.1242/jcs.00384.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Doetschman TC, Eistetter H, Katz M, Schmidt W, Kemler R: The in vitro development of blastocyst-derived embryonic stem cell lines: formation of visceral yolk sac, blood islands and myocardium. J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1985, 87: 27-45.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Robertson E, Bradley A, Kuehn M, Evans M: Germ-line transmission of genes introduced into cultured pluripotential cells by retroviral vector. Nature. 1986, 323: 445-448. 10.1038/323445a0.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Diekmann U, Elsner M, Fiedler J, Thum T, Lenzen S, Naujok O: MicroRNA target sites as genetic tools to enhance promoter-reporter specificity for the purification of pancreatic progenitor cells from differentiated embryonic stem cells. Stem Cell Rev. 2013, 9: 555-568. 10.1007/s12015-012-9416-1.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Naujok O, Kaldrack J, Taivankhuu T, Jörns A, Lenzen S: Selective removal of undifferentiated embryonic stem cells from differentiation cultures through HSV1 thymidine kinase and ganciclovir treatment. Stem Cell Rev. 2010, 6: 450-461. 10.1007/s12015-010-9148-z.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Veeman MT, Slusarski DC, Kaykas A, Louie SH, Moon RT: Zebrafish prickle, a modulator of noncanonical Wnt/Fz signaling, regulates gastrulation movements. Curr Biol. 2003, 13: 680-685. 10.1016/S0960-9822(03)00240-9.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Arnold SJ, Stappert J, Bauer A, Kispert A, Herrmann BG, Kemler R: Brachyury is a target gene of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Mech Dev. 2000, 91: 249-258. 10.1016/S0925-4773(99)00309-3.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bone HK, Nelson AS, Goldring CE, Tosh D, Welham MJ: A novel chemically directed route for the generation of definitive endoderm from human embryonic stem cells based on inhibition of GSK-3. J Cell Sci. 2011, 124: 1992-2000. 10.1242/jcs.081679.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sato H, Amagai K, Shimizukawa R, Tamai Y: Stable generation of serum- and feeder-free embryonic stem cell-derived mice with full germline-competency by using a GSK3 specific inhibitor. Genesis. 2009, 47: 414-422. 10.1002/dvg.20514.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Besser D: Expression of nodal, lefty-a, and lefty-B in undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells requires activation of Smad2/3. J Biol Chem. 2004, 279: 45076-45084. 10.1074/jbc.M404979200.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Sato N, Meijer L, Skaltsounis L, Greengard P, Brivanlou AH: Maintenance of pluripotency in human and mouse embryonic stem cells through activation of Wnt signaling by a pharmacological GSK-3-specific inhibitor. Nat Med. 2004, 10: 55-63. 10.1038/nm979.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Bain J, Plater L, Elliott M, Shpiro N, Hastie CJ, McLauchlan H, Klevernic I, Arthur JS, Alessi DR, Cohen P: The selectivity of protein kinase inhibitors: a further update. Biochem J. 2007, 408: 297-315. 10.1042/BJ20070797.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Doble BW, Patel S, Wood GA, Kockeritz LK, Woodgett JR: Functional redundancy of GSK-3alpha and GSK-3beta in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling shown by using an allelic series of embryonic stem cell lines. Dev Cell. 2007, 12: 957-971. 10.1016/j.devcel.2007.04.001.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Wray J, Kalkan T, Gomez-Lopez S, Eckardt D, Cook A, Kemler R, Smith A: Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 alleviates Tcf3 repression of the pluripotency network and increases embryonic stem cell resistance to differentiation. Nat Cell Biol. 2011, 13: 838-845. 10.1038/ncb2267.PubMedPubMed CentralView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Ying QL, Wray J, Nichols J, Batlle-Morera L, Doble B, Woodgett J, Cohen P, Smith A: The ground state of embryonic stem cell self-renewal. Nature. 2008, 453: 519-523. 10.1038/nature06968.PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kiyonari H, Kaneko M, Abe S, Aizawa S: Three inhibitors of FGF receptor, ERK, and GSK3 establishes germline-competent embryonic stem cells of C57BL/6 N mouse strain with high efficiency and stability. Genesis. 2010, 48: 317-327.PubMedGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.