Methods to Manipulate and Monitor Wnt Signaling in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Methods Mol Biol. 2016:1481:161-81. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6393-5_16.


Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) may revolutionize medical practice by providing: (a) a renewable source of cells for tissue replacement therapies, (b) a powerful system to model human diseases in a dish, and (c) a platform for examining efficacy and safety of novel drugs. Furthermore, these cells offer a unique opportunity to study early human development in vitro, in particular, the process by which a seemingly uniform cell population interacts to give rise to the three main embryonic lineages: ectoderm, endoderm. and mesoderm. This process of lineage allocation is regulated by a number of inductive signals that are mediated by growth factors, including FGF, TGFβ, and Wnt. In this book chapter, we introduce a set of tools, methods, and protocols to specifically manipulate the Wnt signaling pathway with the intention of altering the cell fate outcome of hPSCs.

Keywords: Embryonic development; Human embryonic stem cell (hESC); Human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC); Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC); Wnt.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Ectoderm / growth & development
  • Endoderm / growth & development
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / growth & development
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / genetics*