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A new cell identified that may influence others

Darlene Lane

Darlene Lane | Thursday, April 11, 2019

SCC-RI scientists discovered previously unknown cells essential to primate-specific stem cell ecosystem. 


Dr. Mio Nakanishi headed up this project that identified a previously unknown cell type. This cell type is being termed "pluripotent founder cells" (PFCs) due to their crucial role in the successful assembly and establishment of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) colonies. The paper describes how Dr. Nakanishi functionally and molecularly characterized PFSc:

  1. Screening of antibody-panels showed that PFCs are uniquely NCAD+ in hPSC cultures
  2. Immunostaining of mouse and other primate PSCs show that PFCs are unique to primates
  3. Single cell RNA sequencing demonstrated that PFCs share hallmarks of primitive endoderm
  4. Functional experiments demonstrate that PFCs are regulated by non-canonical Wnt signalling

This study was published in Cell, and was supported by grants to the Bhatia Lab from National Sciences and Engneering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Mick Bhatia

Mick Bhatia

Director and Senior Scientist