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Gene catalog for differentiating human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into mature, insulin-producing pancreatic b cells

In vitro and computational studies identified genes that could help develop strategies for b cell production from hPSCs. Antibody staining for insulin followed by cell sorting was used to isolate pure populations of insulin-producing cells derived from hPSCs. Subsequent gene expression and hierarchical clustering analyses demonstrated similarities between insulin-producing cells derived from different hPSCs. The analyses also found similarities between hPSC-derived cells and fetal insulin-producing cells and differences between hPSC-derived cells and adult insulin-producing cells. Further comparison between fetal and adult cells identified a catalog of genes responsible for b cell maturation and metabolic functionalization. Next steps include identifying the gene regulatory network associated with the catalog and potential drug targets.

SciBX 7(10); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.299
Published online March 13, 2014

Patent application filed covering method for analyzing RNA following intracellular sorting (MARIS); available for licensing

Hrvatin, S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Feb. 10, 2014;
Contact: Douglas A. Melton, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.