Analytical Sciences
Online ISSN : 1348-2246
Print ISSN : 0910-6340
ISSN-L : 0910-6340
Original Papers
Designing Elastic Modulus of Cell Culture Substrate to Regulate YAP and RUNX2 Localization for Controlling Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells
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2021 Volume 37 Issue 3 Pages 447-453


To establish a guideline for the design of cell culture substrates to control human mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation, we quantitatively characterized the heterogeneity in the responsiveness of MSCs to the elastic modulus of culture substrates. We analyzed the elastic modulus-dependent dynamics of a mechanotransducer, YAP, and an osteogenic differentiation factor, RUNX2, in three different MSC lots using a styrenated gelatin gel with controllable elastic modulus. The percentage of cells with YAP in the nucleus increased linearly with increases in the elastic modulus, reaching a plateau at 10 kPa for all the lots analyzed. The increase in the percentage with the substrate elastic modulus was described by the same linear function. The percentage of cells with RUNX2 nuclear localization also increased linearly with increases in the substrate elastic modulus, plateauing at 5 kPa, although the regression lines to the linearly increasing regions varied between lots. These similarities and differences in YAP and RUNX2 dynamics among cell populations are basis to design the substrate elastic modulus to manipulate YAP and RUNX2 localizations.

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© 2021 by The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry
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