NYSCF Innovator Finds New Small Molecule Activator for Stem Cell Differentiation
Human stem cells require a certain cocktail of molecules to maintain their pluripotent state. Bone morphogenic proteins, or BMPs, promote differentiation in human cells, therefore molecules that activate or sensitize stem cells to BMP signaling are able to promote cell differentiation.
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Dr. Shuibing Chen, Weill Cornell Medical School, identified a new small molecule activator for human embryonic stem cell differentiation. Published in Cell Reports, the molecule, called PD407824, is a checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor which increases the sensitivity of cells to sub-threshold amounts of BMP4.
This discovery provides a useful tool for scientists to control and scale stem cell differentiation.