2020 Volume 62 Issue 4 Pages 393-396
Stage-specific embryonic antigens (SSEA-1, 3, and 4) are carbohydrate antigens that have been used as markers of embryonic stem (ES) cells. However, the roles of these antigens in the establishment and maintenance of stemness of ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are still poorly understood. This study investigated the biological and functional significance of globo-series glycolipids such as SSEA-3 and 4 in mouse iPS cells induced from tail-tip fibroblasts (TTFs) of α1,4Gal-T-knockout mice (lacking SSEA-3 and 4). These iPS cells were induced by retroviral transduction of four factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc) into TTFs, and colonies were picked up. Morphologically, the colonies resembled ES cells and were positive for alkaline phosphatase and ES cell markers. Furthermore, in vitro-differentiated induction experiments after embryoid body formation revealed that some colonies derived from α1, 4Gal-T knockout mice were able to differentiate into three germ layers. Three germ layers were also observed in teratomas from iPS cells derived from α1,4Gal-T-knockout mice. These results suggest that SSEA-3 and 4 are not essential, at least for the establishment and maintenance of stemness of mouse iPS cells.