Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 70,861 bioRxiv papers from 309,229 authors.
In amniotes, the development of the primitive streak (PS) and its accompanying 'organizer' define the first stages of gastrulation. Despite detailed characterization in model organisms, the analogous human structures remain a mystery. We have previously shown that when stimulated with BMP4, micropatterned colonies of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) self-organize to generate early embryonic germ layers1. Here we show that in the same type of colonies WNT signalling is sufficient to induce a PS, and WNT with ACTIVIN is sufficient to induce an organizer, as characterized by embryo-like sharp boundary formation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, and expression of the organizer specific transcription factor GSC. Moreover, when grafted into chick embryos, WNT and ACTIVIN treated human cells induce and contribute autonomously to a secondary axis while inducing neural fate in the host. This fulfills the most stringent functional criteria for an organizer, and its discovery represents a major milestone in human embryology.
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