The generation of neurons and glial cells during embryonic development comprises a number of networks and complex control mechanisms increasingly studied. There are numerous intrinsic cellular mechanisms (such as transcriptional regulation, cell cycle, internal signaling pathways) and extrinsic (soluble factors, signal molecules secreted by surrounding cells, extracellular matrix, etc.) that will adjust the balance between self-renewal, proliferation, migration and processes of differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The microenvironment of such cells is then largely responsible for the observed phenotypic and genetic changes along the proliferation and neural differentiation. STI1 has been found in conditioned medium from various cell types such as astrocytes, neural stem cells, microglia and glioblastoma, taking part as a cellular microenvironment component. Studies have demonstrated that processes such as self-renewal of stem cells by controlling gene expression of pluripotency, proliferation, neural differentiation, and neuritogenesis require the interaction of PrPc with STI1, which together positively modulate the self-renewal of neural precursor cells. Given the great importance of processes performed by the interaction between PrPc and STI1 as well as secretion of the soluble and insoluble form of this latter protein by several characteristic cell types, this study aim to investigate the profile secretion and paper STI1 during neural differentiation for neural precursors derived of embryonic stem cells.
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