Osafune K, Caron L, Borowiak M, Martinez RJ, Fitz-Gerald CS, Sato Y, Cowan CA, Chien KR, Melton DA. 2008. Marked differences in differentiation propensity among human embryonic stem cell lines. Nature biotechnology. 26(3):313-5. Pubmed: 18278034 DOI:10.1038/nbt1383


The differentiation potential of 17 human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines was compared. Some lines exhibit a marked propensity to differentiate into specific lineages, often with >100-fold differences in lineage-specific gene expression. For example, HUES 8 is best for pancreatic differentiation and HUES 3 for cardiomyocyte generation. These non-trivial differences in developmental potential among hES cell lines point to the importance of screening and deriving lines for lineage-specific differentiation.

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Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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