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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Noggin and chordin have distinct activities in promoting lineage commitment of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells.

To examine the role of secreted signaling molecules and neurogenic genes in early development, we have developed a culture system for the controlled differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. In the current investigation, two of the earliest identified BMP antagonists/neural-inducing factors, noggin and chordin, were expressed in pluripotent mouse ES cells. Neurons were present as early as 24 h following transfection of ES cells with a pCS2/noggin expression plasmid, with differentiation peaking at 72 h. With neuronal differentiation, stem cell marker genes were down-regulated and neural determination genes expressed. Coculture experiments and exposure to noggin-conditioned medium produced similar neuronal differentiation of control ES cells, while addition of BMP-4 to noggin expressants strikingly inhibited neuronal differentiation. Transfection of ES cells with a pCS2/chordin expression vector or exposure to chordin-conditioned medium produced a more complex pattern of differentiation; ES cells formed neurons, mesenchymal cells as well as N-CAM-positive, nestin-positive neuroepithelial progenitors. These data suggest that, consistent with their different expression fields, noggin and chordin may play distinct roles in patterning the early mouse embryo.[1]


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