Differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to cardiomyocytes is influenced by culture conditions including the extracellular matrices or similar synthetic scaffolds on which they are grown. However, the molecular mechanisms that link the scaffold with differentiation outcomes are not fully known. Here, we determined by immunofluorescence staining and mass spectrometry approaches that extracellular matrix (ECM) engagement by mouse pluripotent stem cells activates critical compo-nents of canonical wingless/integrated (Wnt) signaling pathways via kinases of the focal adhesion to drive cardiomyogenesis. These kinases were found to be differentially activated depending on type of ECM engaged. These outcomes begin to explain how varied ECM composition of in vivo tissues with development and in vitro model systems gives rise to different mature cell types, having broad practical applicability for the design of engineered tissues.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, grant number HL137204.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Extracellular matrix
- Focal adhesion kinases
- Stem cells
- Tissue engineering