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Embryoid bodies (EBs) are the three-dimensional aggregates of pluripotent stem cells that are used as a model system for the in vitro differentiation. EBs mimic the early stages of embryogenesis and are considered as a potential biomimetic body in tuning the stem cell fate. Although EBs have a spheroid shape, they are not formed accidentally by the agglomeration of cells; they are formed by the deliberate and programmed aggregation of stem cells in a complex topological and biophysical microstructure instead. EBs could be programmed to promisingly differentiate into the desired germ layers with specific cell lineages, in response to intra- and extra-biochemical and biomechanical signals. Hippo signaling and mechanotransduction are the key pathways in controlling the formation and differentiation of EBs. The activity of the Hippo pathway strongly relies on cell-cell junctions, cell polarity, cellular architecture, cellular metabolism, and mechanical cues in the surrounding microenvironment. Although the Hippo pathway was initially thought to limit the size of the organ by inhibiting the proliferation and the promotion of apoptosis, the evidence suggests that this pathway even regulates stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Considering the abovementioned explanations, the present study investigated the interplay of the Hippo signaling pathway, mechanotransduction, differentiation, and proliferation pathways to draw the molecular network involved in the control of EBs fate. In addition, this study highlighted several neglected critical parameters regarding EB formation, in the interplay with the Hippo core component involved in the promising differentiation. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Abolfazl Barzegari, Virginie Gueguen, Yadollah Omidi, Alireza Ostadrahimi, Mohammad Nouri, Graciela Pavon-Djavid. The role of Hippo signaling pathway and mechanotransduction in tuning embryoid body formation and differentiation. Journal of cellular physiology. 2020 Jun;235(6):5072-5083

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PMID: 31951024

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