Trophoblast stem cells derived from naive human stem cells

Our paper examining the trophoblast potential of distinct human stem cell states was published today in eLife. We report that naive, but not primed, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) can directly differentiate into trophoblast stem cells (TSC). The derivation of TSCs from naïve hPSCs presents a new model system to elucidate early mechanisms  governing placental development and associated pathologies. This study was a collaboration with the Solnica-Krezel, Wang and Kommagani labs at Washington University.

Image of naive hPSC-derived human TSCs stained with a KRT7 antibody by Chen Dong (Theunissen Lab).

 

Paper on transposable elements and KRAB zinc-finger proteins

We are excited to contribute to a new study from the Trono laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland (Pontis et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2019). This work describes how hominoid-specific transposable elements control transcription in naive hESCs and during embryonic genome activation, activating evolutionarily recent KRAB zinc-finger proteins that in turn ‘tame’ the activity of the transposons.