Overexpression of SOX9 in mouse embryonic stem cells directs the immediate chondrogenic commitment

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Mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells are capable of undergoing chondrogenesis in vitro. To enhance this process, the human SOX9 (hSOX9) cDNA was delivered into mES cells and the clones overexpressing hSOX9 (denoted as mES-hSOX9 cells) were verified by Western blot analysis. The transcripts of collagen IIA (a juvenile form), aggrecan and Pax1 were expressed in mES-hSOX9 cells grown on feeder layers, suggesting the immediate effect of exogenous SOX9 on chondrogenesis. However, SOX9 overexpression did not affect the cell cycle distribution in undifferentiated mES cells. Upon differentiation, collagen IIB (an adult form) was detected in day 3 immature embryoid bodies. In addition, the overexpression of exogenous SOX9 significantly induced transcriptional activity driven by SOX9 binding site. Taken together, we for the first time demonstrated that constitutive overexpression of exogenous SOX9 in undifferentiated mES cells might have dual potentials to induce both chondrogenic commitment and growth capacity in the undifferentiated status.

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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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  • cell differentiation
  • chondrogenesis
  • sox9
  • transcription factor
  • stem cells
  • transfection

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