Boles N.C.,The Neural Stem Cell Institute |
Hirsch S.E.,The Neural Stem Cell Institute |
Hirsch S.E.,University at Albany |
Le S.,The Neural Stem Cell Institute |
And 9 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2014
Neural induction is the first fundamental step in nervous system formation. During development, a tightly regulated niche modulates transient extracellular signals to influence neural lineage commitment. To date, however, the cascade of molecular events that sustain these signals in humans is not well understood. Here we show that NPTX1, a secreted protein, is rapidly upregulated during neural induction from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). By manipulating its expression, we were able to reduce or initiate neural lineage commitment. A time-course transcriptome analysis and functional assays show that NPTX1 acts in part by binding the Nodal receptor cofactor TDGF1, reducing both Nodal and BMP signaling. Our findings identify one of the earliest genes expressed upon neural induction and provide insight into human neural lineage specification. © 2014 The Authors.