High-throughput screening (HTS) of chemical libraries has become a critical tool in basic biology and drug discovery. However, its implementation and the adaptation of high-content assays to human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been hampered by multiple technical challenges. Here we present a strategy to adapt hESCs to HTS conditions, resulting in an assay suitable for the discovery of small molecules that drive hESC self-renewal or differentiation. Use of this new assay has led to the identification of several marketed drugs and natural compounds promoting short-term hESC maintenance and compounds directing early lineage choice during differentiation. Global gene expression analysis upon drug treatment defines known and novel pathways correlated to hESC self-renewal and differentiation. Our results demonstrate feasibility of hESC-based HTS and enhance the repertoire of chemical compounds for manipulating hESC fate. The availability of high-content assays should accelerate progress in basic and translational hESC biology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Cell stem cell|
|State||Published - Jun 5 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Cell Biology