Assessment of pluripotency and multilineage differentiation potential of NTERA-2 cells as a model for studying human embryonic stem cells

Cell Prolif. 2006 Dec;39(6):585-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2006.00400.x.


Embryonal carcinoma cells are pluripotent stem cells derived from teratocarcinomas and are considered to be the malignant counterparts of human embryonic stem cells. As there are few reliable experimental systems available to study the molecular mechanisms governing normal embryogenesis, well-characterized human embryonal carcinoma stem cell lines may provide a robust and simple model to study certain aspects of pluripotency and cellular differentiation. Here, we have analysed NTERA-2 cL.D1 cells at molecular and cellular levels during expansion and differentiation, via formation of cell aggregates similar to embryoid bodies in embryonic stem cells. Thus, human embryonal carcinoma cells may provide a valuable insight into cell fate determination, into the embryonic ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm and their downstream derivatives.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Aggregation / physiology
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Embryonal Carcinoma Stem Cells
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / physiology