Although basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) is generally included in the media for maintenance of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), the action of FGF2 in these cells has not been well defined. Here, we determined the roles of FGF2 in maintaining hESC self-renewal. Withdrawal of FGF2 from the media led to acquisition of typical differentiated characteristics in hESCs. In the presence of FGF2, which is normally required for proliferation in an undifferentiated state, inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/PKB signal stimulated differentiation and attenuated the expression of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. We suggest that FGF2 maintains hESC self-renewal by supporting stable expression of ECM molecules through activation of the PI3K/Akt/PKB pathway.
- Differentiation and undifferentiation
- Extracellular matrix molecule
- Fibroblast growth factor signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology