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.