Conventionally, embryonic stem (ES) cells are cultured on a cell layer of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) as feeder cells to support undifferentiated growth of ES cells. In this study, cell-cell interactions between mouse ES and feeder cells were artificially engineered via an epithelial cell adhesion molecule, E-cadherin, whose expression is considerable in ES cells. Mouse mesenchymal STO and NIH3T3 cells that were genetically engineered to express E-cadherin were used in ES cell cultures as feeder cells. ES cells cultured on the E-cadherin-expressing feeder cells maintained the expression of stem cell markers, alkaline phosphatase (AP), Oct3/4, Nanog and Sox2, and the efficiency of AP-positive colony formation was comparable to MEFs, and much better than parental STO and NIH3T3 cells. Furthermore, ES cells maintained on the E-cadherin-expressing feeder cells possessed the ability to differentiate into the three germ layers both in vitro and in vivo. The results indicated that E-cadherin expression in feeder cells could improve the performance of feeder cells, which may be further applicable to create new artificial feeder cell lines.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology