The role of BMP4 signaling in trophoblast emergence from pluripotency.

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Public Summary:
Below is a comprehensive review of the role of a pathway of essential genes that make the bone morphogenetic family of proteins (BMP). It is known that these proteins are involved in early generation of the embryo in both mouse and human, but their contribution to early placenta stem cells across these species is debated. Here we summarize the known function of the BMP pathway in development in the body and in laboratory protocols in both species to produce an accurate placental stem cell model.
Scientific Abstract:
The Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) signaling pathway has established roles in early embryonic morphogenesis, particularly in the epiblast. More recently, however, it has also been implicated in development of extraembryonic lineages, including trophectoderm (TE), in both mouse and human. In this review, we will provide an overview of this signaling pathway, with a focus on BMP4, and its role in emergence and development of TE in both early mouse and human embryogenesis. Subsequently, we will build on these in vivo data and discuss the utility of BMP4-based protocols for in vitro conversion of primed vs. naive pluripotent stem cells (PSC) into trophoblast, and specifically into trophoblast stem cells (TSC). PSC-derived TSC could provide an abundant, reproducible, and ethically acceptable source of cells for modeling placental development.