The self-renewal and multilineage differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) is largely governed by transcription factors or repressors. Extensive efforts have focused on elucidating critical factors that control the differentiation of specific cell lineages, for instance, myeloid lineages in hematopoietic development. In this study, we found that Twist-2, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor, plays a critical role in inhibiting the differentiation of ESC. Murine ES cells, in which Twist-2 expression is silenced by lentivirally delivered shRNA, exhibit an enhanced formation of primary embryoid bodies (EB) and enhanced differentiation into mesodermally derived hematopoietic colonies. Furthermore, Twist-2 silenced (LV-siTwist-2) ESC display significantly increased generation of myeloid lineages (Gr-1+ and F4/80+ cells) during in vitro hematopoietic differentiation. Treatment with the Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 ligand synergistically stimulates the generation of primary EB formation as well as of hematopoietic progenitors differentiated from LV-siTwist-2 ES cells. Thus, this study reveals the critical role of the transcriptional repressor Twist-2 in regulating the development of myeloid lineage in hematopoietic differentiation from ESC. This study also suggests a potential strategy for directional differentiation of ESC by inhibiting a transcriptional repressor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology