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Neuronatin Promotes Neural Lineage in ESCs Via Ca2+ Signaling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hsuan-Hwai Lin, Esther Bell, Dafe Uwanogho, Leo W. Perfect, Harun Noristani, Thomas J. D. Bates, Vladimir Snetkov, Jack Price, Yuh-Man Sun

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1950 - 1960
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

King's Authors


Neural induction is the first step in the formation of the vertebrate central nervous system. The emerging consensus of the mechanisms underling neural induction is the combined influences from inhibiting bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and activating fibroblast growth factor (FGF)/Erk signaling, which act extrinsically via either autocrine or paracrine fashions. However, do intrinsic forces (cues) exist and do they play decisive roles in neural induction? These questions remain to be answered. Here, we have identified a novel neural initiator, neuronatin (Nnat), which acts as an intrinsic factor to promote neural fate in mammals and Xenopus. ESCs lacking this intrinsic factor fail to undergo neural induction despite the inhibition of the BMP pathway. We show that Nnat initiates neural induction in ESCs through increasing intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+](i)) by antagonizing Ca2+-ATPase isoform 2 (sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase isoform 2) in the endoplasmic reticulum, which in turn increases the phosphorylation of Erk1/2 and inhibits the BMP4 pathway and leads to neural induction in conjunction with FGF/Erk pathway. STEM CELLS 2010;28:1950-1960

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