Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prospective isolation of intermediate states during lineage commitment

Project: Research

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/04/113/10/14
Total award£442,415.00
Funding organisationBBSRC
Funder project referenceBB/I006680/1
Period4/04/113/10/14

Description

This project is designed to identify transcription factors that a) influence commitment of pluripotent cells to specific lineages b) can be used a markers
to define the intermediate cellular states between pluripotency and full lineage commitment. and c) can be expoited for manipulating and monitoring differentiation in culture and in vivo.

Layman's description

This project aims to understand how stem cells chose to differentiate into useful cell types such as neurons or muscle cells. We identify the molecules that trigger these decisions and then use these molecules to find better ways to generate useful cell types in a dish.

Key findings

We have identified a transcription factor, Tcf15, that marks a state midway between naive pluripotency and somatic lineage restriction. This factor is also capable of driving more robust differentiation into particular somatic lineages.
We have also identified the cell adhesion molecule E-Cadherin as a limiting inhibitor of neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
We have helped to define prospective markers for neural-primed and mesoderm-primed subpopulations of pluripotent cells.