ENTPD3 Marks Mature Stem Cell-Derived β-Cells Formed by Self-Aggregation In Vitro

Diabetes. 2021 Nov;70(11):2554-2567. doi: 10.2337/db20-0873. Epub 2021 Aug 11.


Stem cell-derived β-like cells (sBC) carry the promise of providing an abundant source of insulin-producing cells for use in cell replacement therapy for patients with diabetes, potentially allowing widespread implementation of a practical cure. To achieve their clinical promise, sBC need to function comparably with mature adult β-cells, but as yet they display varying degrees of maturity. Indeed, detailed knowledge of the events resulting in human β-cell maturation remains obscure. Here we show that sBC spontaneously self-enrich into discreet islet-like cap structures within in vitro cultures, independent of exogenous maturation conditions. Multiple complementary assays demonstrate that this process is accompanied by functional maturation of the self-enriched sBC (seBC); however, the seBC still contain distinct subpopulations displaying different maturation levels. Interestingly, the surface protein ENTPD3 (also known as nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase-3 [NDPTase3]) is a specific marker of the most mature seBC population and can be used for mature seBC identification and sorting. Our results illuminate critical aspects of in vitro sBC maturation and provide important insights toward developing functionally mature sBC for diabetes cell replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome


  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • ectoATPase
  • Calcium

Associated data

  • figshare/10.2337/figshare.15124980