Osteoblast lineage-specific differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells is a well regulated but poorly understood process. Both bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Wnt signaling are implicated in regulating osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. Here we analyzed the expression profiles of mesenchymal stem cells stimulated with Wnt3A and osteogenic BMPs, and we identified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) as a potential target of Wnt and BMP signaling.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is predicted to play a critical role in metastatic disease in hepatocellular carcinoma. In this study, we used a novel murine model of EMT to elucidate a mechanism of tumor progression and metastasis. A total of 2 x 10(6) liver cells isolated from Pten(loxp/loxp)/Alb-Cre(+) mice, expanded from a single CD133(+)CD45(-) cell clone, passage 0 (P0), were sequentially transplanted to obtain two passages of tumor cells, P1 and P2. Cells were analyzed for gene expression using microarray and real-time polymerase chain reaction.