Activation of retinoic acid receptor signaling coordinates lineage commitment of spontaneously differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells in embryoid bodies

Zoltan Simandi, Balint Laszlo Balint, Szilard Poliska, Ralph Ruhl, Laszlo Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Retinoid signaling has been implicated in embryonic stem cell differentiation. Here we present a systematic analysis of gene expression changes in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), during their spontaneous differentiation into embryoid bodies and the effect of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on this process. We show that retinoic acid is present in the serum and is sufficient to activate retinoid signaling at a basal level in undifferentiated mESCs. This signal disappears during embryoid body formation. However exogenously added ATRA resets the spontaneous differentiation programs in embryoid bodies and initiates a distinct genetic program. These data suggest that retinoid signaling not only promotes a particular pathway but also acts as a context dependent general coordinator of the differentiation states in embryonic stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3123-3130
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010



  • All-trans retinoic acid
  • Embryoid body
  • Mouse embryonic stem cell
  • Retinoic acid receptor
  • Retinoid signaling
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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