Current approaches in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) to pancreatic beta cell differentiation have largely been based on knowledge gained from developmental studies of the epithelial pancreas, while the potential roles of other supporting tissue compartments have not been fully explored. One such tissue is the pancreatic mesenchyme that supports epithelial organogenesis throughout embryogenesis. We hypothesized that detailed characterization of the pancreatic mesenchyme might result in the identification of novel factors not used in current differentiation protocols. Supplementing existing hESC differentiation conditions with such factors might create a more comprehensive simulation of normal development in cell culture. To validate our hypothesis, we took advantage of a novel transgenic mouse model to isolate the pancreatic mesenchyme at distinct embryonic and postnatal stages for subsequent proteomic analysis. Refined sample preparation and analysis conditions across four embryonic and prenatal time points resulted in the identification of 21,498 peptides with high-confidence mapping to 1,502 proteins. Expression analysis of pancreata confirmed the presence of three potentially important factors in cell differentiation: Galectin-1 (LGALS1), Neuroplastin (NPTN), and the Laminin α-2 subunit (LAMA2). Two of the three factors (LGALS1 and LAMA2) increased expression of pancreatic progenitor transcript levels in a published hESC to beta cell differentiation protocol. In addition, LAMA2 partially blocks cell culture induced beta cell dedifferentiation. Summarily, we provide evidence that proteomic analysis of supporting tissues such as the pancreatic mesenchyme allows for the identification of potentially important factors guiding hESC to pancreas differentiation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology