Many human embryonic stern cell (hESC) lines have been reported, but only a few of them have been fully characterized. In this report, five new hESC lines were derived from 32 discarded blastocysts in Taiwan, and these lines were continuously cultured on mitotically inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) feeder layer in the hESC medium for more than 44 passages and underwent freezing/thawing processes. All five hESC lines expressed characteristic undifferentiated hESC markers, such as SSEA-4, TRA-1-81, alkaline phosphatase, TERT, and the transcription factors POU5F1 (OCT4) and NANOG. hESC lines T1 and T3 possess normal female karyotypes, whereas lines T4 and T5 are normal male, but line T2 is male trisomy 12 (47XY,+12). hESC lines T1, T2, T3, and T5 were able to produce teratomas in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, and line T4 could only form embryoid bodies (EBs) in vitro. Global gene expression profiles of these five newly derived hESC lines were analyzed using the Affymetrix human genome U133 plus 2.0 GeneChip. The results showed that 4,145 transcripts, including 19% of unknown functions, were detected in all five hESC lines. Comparison of the 4,145 genes commonly expressed in the five hESC lines with those genes expressed in teratomas produced by the hESC line T1 and placenta revealed 40 genes exclusively expressed in all five hESC lines. These 40 genes include the previously reported stemness genes, such as POU5F1 (OCT4), NANOG, TDGF1 (CRIPTO), SALL4, LECT1, and BUB1 responsible for self-renewal and pluripotent differentiation. The global gene expression analysis also indicated that the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/activin branch components inhibin BC, ACVR2A, ACVR1 (ALK2), TGFBR1 (ALK5), and SMAD2 were found to be highly expressed in undifferentiated states of these five hESC lines and decreased upon differentiation. In short, the hESC nature of these five hESC lines is supported by the undifferentiated state, extensive renewal capacity, and pluripotency, including the ability to form teratomas and/or EBs. These cell lines will be useful for human embryonic stem cell biology and drug development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas