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Comparison of the glycosphingolipids of human induced pluripotent stem cells and human embryonic stem cells

Journal article
Authors Karin Säljö
Angela Barone
Dzeneta Vizlin-Hodzic
Bengt R Johansson
Michael Breimer
Keiko Funa
Susann Teneberg
Published in Glycobiology
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 291-305
ISSN 0959-6658
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 291-305
Language en
Keywords Glycolipid structure; ganglioside; mass spectrometry; induced pluripotent stem cell; embryonic stem cell
Subject categories Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)


High expectations are held for human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) since they are established from autologous tissues thus overcoming the risk of allogeneic immune rejection when used in regenerative medicine. However, little is known regarding the cell-surface carbohydrate antigen profile of hiPSC compared with human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Here, glycosphingolipids were isolated from an adipocyte-derived hiPSC line, and hiPSC and hESC glycosphingolipids were compared by concurrent characterization by binding assays with carbohydrate-recognizing ligands and mass spectrometry. A high similarity between the nonacid glycosphingolipids of hiPSC and hESC was found. The nonacid glycosphingolipids P1 pentaosylceramide, x2 pentaosylceramide and H type 1 heptaosylceramide, not previously described in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), were characterized in both hiPSC and hESC. The composition of acid glycosphingolipids differed, with increased levels of GM3 ganglioside, and reduced levels of GD1a/GD1b in hiPSC when compared with hESC. In addition, the hESC glycosphingolipids sulf-globopentaosylceramide and sialyl-globotetraosylceramide were lacking in hiPSC. Neural stem cells differentiating from hiPSC had a reduced expression of sialyl-lactotetra, whereas expression of the GD1a ganglioside was significantly increased. Thus, while sialyl-lactotetra is a marker of undifferentiated hPSC, GD1a is a novel marker of neural differentiation.

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