Key publications

2022

Meek, S. et al. ‘Stem Cell-Derived Porcine Macrophages as a New Platform for Studying Host-Pathogen Interactions’. BMC Biology, 20:14 (2022)

From the lab of Tom Burdon, University of Edinburgh

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)
FGF-2 / bFGF 154 aa (Qk027)

2021

Luo, L, et al. ‘Hydrostatic Pressure Promotes Chondrogenic Differentiation and Microvesicle Release from Human Embryonic and Bone Marrow Stem Cells’. Biotechnology Journal (2021)

From the lab of Alicia El Haj, University of Birmingham

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)
FGF-2 / bFGF 145 aa (Qk025)
BMP-2 (Qk007)

Huang, T et al. ‘Sex-Specific Chromatin Remodelling Safeguards Transcription in Germ Cells’. Nature, 600, 737–742 (2021)

From the lab of Petra Hajkova, MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences

Used:
BMP-2 (Qk007)

Cimino, I. et al. ‘Activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis by exogenous and endogenous GDF15’. PNAS, 11827 (2021).

From the lab of Stephen O’Rahilly, University of Cambridge

Used:
GDF-15 (Qk017)

In this paper, Cinimo et al. explore the role of the TGFβ-family protein GDF15 in activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. During infection, cytokines such as TNFα/β, IL-1 and IL-6, activate the HPA axis. This increases circulating glucocorticoids, which have anti-inflammatory, metabolic, and vasomotor effects. However, O’Rahilly lab have determined that in response to stimuli such as toxins, which don’t provoke an inflammatory response, the primary activator of the HPA axis is GDF15. GDF15 is an intriguing protein also being explored as an anti-obesity therapeutic target, these findings may have a pivotal impact on future clinical study design and open new avenues of investigation. Certainly cool science!

Williams, T. L. et al. ‘Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocyte Platform Screens Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Infection’. Communications Biology 4926 (2021).

From the lab of Anthony Davenport, University of Cambridge

Used:
zFGF-2 / bFGF (Qk002)

Kinoshita, M. et al. Capture of Mouse and Human Stem Cells with Features of Formative Pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell (2020)

From the lab of Austin Smith, University of Cambridge & University of Exeter

Used:
Activin A PLUS (Qk005)
zFGF-2 / bFGF (Qk002)

In the study of embryonic stem cells, stem cells representative of naïve and primed pluripotency have been well established in the forms of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and epiblast-derived stem cells (EpiSCs). In this study Kinoshita et al. fill the gap between early and late pluripotency in describing an intermediate state; formative stem (FS) cells. FS cells differ from both ESCs and EpiSCs, a difference beautifully exemplified by their relative contribution to chimeras. Compared with ESCs, which readily contribute to chimeras, FS chimera contribution is less frequent, and their contribution is less evenly distributed. EpiSCs on the other hand do not generally contribute to chimeras at all. FS cells were established by culturing E5.5 epiblasts, or ES cells, in N2B27 media supplemented with a low dose of Qkine Activin A alongside a Wnt inhibitor and pan-retinoic acid receptor inverse agonist. We are proud our growth factors could be part of such an exciting finding!

Masaki Kinoshita, first author, MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, says:
“Formative” pluripotency exists transiently in early development and naive mouse ES cell differentiation, which cells directly respond to differentiation signals. This paper showed that formative pluripotency is now captured in culture and expands its knowledge including chimaera competency of early embryonic cells.

Andreasson, L., Evenbratt, H., Mobini, R. & Simonsson, S. Differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into definitive endoderm on Activin A-functionalized gradient surfaces. J Biotechnol 325, 173–178 (2021).

From the lab of Stina SimonssonUniversity of Gothenburg

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)

In embryonic development, growth factors are delivered in a highly controlled and targeted manner, however when differentiating iPSCs the real challenge is to effectively mimic these conditions. Consequently, iPSC differentiation is plagued by issues such as low efficiency and a lack of homogeneity. In their recent paper Andreasson et al. take a step towards improving the differentiation of iPSCs to definitive endoderm. The group employs gold nanoparticles to generate a gradient of immobilised Activin A – a member of the TGF-β superfamily that plays a key role in definitive endoderm development. Using this gradient, the group was able to deliver Activin A in a controlled and localised manor, resulting in more efficient differentiation. By deploying their innovative approach, the group observed a dose dependent response of the cells to Activin A, as defined by expression of differentiation markers SOX17 and GATA4. Their results indicate that it may be possible to define an optimal density of Activin A for definitive endoderm differentiation – a finding that could improve the homogeneity and speed of differentiation. This innovative study is a wonderful example of how reconsidering the way in which growth factors are delivered can lead to advances in our understanding of the precise control of stem cell differentiation and how these cells undertake their fate decisions.

2020

Borkowska, M. & Leitch, H. G. Mouse Primordial Germ Cells: In Vitro Culture and Conversion to Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines. Methods Mol Biol 2214, 59–73 (2021).

From the lab of Harry Leitch, Imperial College London

Used:
mouse LIF (Qk018)

Zorzan, I. et al. The transcriptional regulator ZNF398 mediates pluripotency and epithelial character downstream of TGF-beta in human PSCs. Nat Commun 11, 2364 (2020).

From the lab of Graziano Martello, University of Padua

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)
zFGF-2 / bFGF  (Qk002)

Wamaitha, S. E. et al. IGF1-mediated human embryonic stem cell self-renewal recapitulates the embryonic niche. Nat Commun 11, 764 (2020).

From the lab of Harry Leitch, Imperial College London

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)

2019

Stuart, H. T. et al. Distinct Molecular Trajectories Converge to Induce Naive Pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell 25, 388-406.e8 (2019).

Reviewers comments available to view: Stadtfeld, M. Evaluation of Stuart et al.: Distinct Molecular Trajectories Converge to Induce Naive Pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell 25, 297–298 (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.08.009

From the lab of José Silva, University of Cambridge

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)
zFGF2 / bFGF (Qk002)
mouse LIF (Qk018)

2018

Blackford, S. J. I. et al. Validation of Current Good Manufacturing Practice Compliant Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes for Cell-Based Therapy. Stem Cells Transl Med 8, 124–137 (2019).

From the lab of Tamir Rashid, Kings College London

Used:
Activin A (Qk001)

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