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Genes 2011, 2(1), 280-297; doi:10.3390/genes2010280

The Role of the Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) — Pathway in Derivation and Maintenance of Murine Pluripotent Stem Cells

1
Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Molecular Life Sciences Graduate School, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
3
Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 January 2011 / Revised: 26 February 2011 / Accepted: 7 March 2011 / Published: 9 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural and Induced Pluripotency in Stem Cells)
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Abstract

Developmental biology, regenerative medicine and cancer biology are more and more interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling pluripotency and self-renewal in stem cells. Pluripotency is maintained by a synergistic interplay between extrinsic stimuli and intrinsic circuitries, which allow sustainment of the undifferentiated and self-renewing state. Nevertheless, even though a lot of efforts have been made in the past years, the precise mechanisms regulating these processes remain unclear. One of the key extrinsic factors is leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) that is largely used for the cultivation and derivation of mouse embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. LIF acts through the LIFR/gp130 receptor and activates STAT3, an important regulator of mouse embryonic stem cell self-renewal. STAT3 is known to inhibit differentiation into both mesoderm and endoderm lineages by preventing the activation of lineage-specific differentiation programs. However, LIF activates also parallel circuitries like the PI3K-pathway and the MEK/ERK-pathway, but its mechanisms of action remain to be better elucidated. This review article aims at summarizing the actual knowledge on the importance of LIF in the maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal in embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells.
Keywords: LIF; STAT3; pluripotency; embryonic stem cells; induced pluripotent stem cells LIF; STAT3; pluripotency; embryonic stem cells; induced pluripotent stem cells
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Graf, U.; Casanova, E.A.; Cinelli, P. The Role of the Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) — Pathway in Derivation and Maintenance of Murine Pluripotent Stem Cells. Genes 2011, 2, 280-297.

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