Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.478, No.4, 1575-1581, 2016
Downregulation of IGF-1 receptor occurs after hepatic linage commitment during hepatocyte differentiation from human embryonic stem cells
The insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) has been suggested to be involved in hepatocyte differentiation. Human hepatocyte cancer cells and stem cells are known to express IGF-1R whereas normal hepatocytes do not. In the present study we optimized a differentiation protocol and verified the different stages by established markers. The expression levels of IGF-1R and major downstream signaling proteins during differentiation from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to mature hepatocytes were investigated. We could only demonstrate a minor decrease in IGF-1R expression during endodermal differentiation compared to hESC, but declined substantially (>50%) after hepatic lineage commitment during the hepatocyte specification and maturation stages. This downregulation was paralleled by an upregulation of ERK 1/2, AKT and insulin substrate-1. Neither inhibition nor activation of IGF-1R had any essential effect on endoderm differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Therefore, our data suggest that IGF-1R downregulation may have a regulatory impact after initiation of hepatic lineage commitment. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.