Comparative Proteomic Analysis Identifies EphA2 as a Specific Cell Surface Marker for Wharton's Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

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Abstract

Wharton's jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) are a valuable tool in stem cell research due to their high proliferation rate, multi-lineage differentiation potential, and immunotolerance properties. However, fibroblast impurity during WJ-MSCs isolation is unavoidable because of morphological similarities and shared surface markers. Here, a proteomic approach was employed to identify specific proteins differentially expressed by WJ-MSCs in comparison to those by neonatal foreskin and adult skin fibroblasts (NFFs and ASFs, respectively). Mass spectrometry analysis identified 454 proteins with a transmembrane domain. These proteins were then compared across the different cell-lines and categorized based on their cellular localizations, biological processes, and molecular functions. The expression patterns of a selected set of proteins were further confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blotting, and immunofluorescence assays. As anticipated, most of the studied proteins had common expression patterns. However, EphA2, SLC25A4, and SOD2 were predominantly expressed by WJ-MSCs, while CDH2 and Talin2 were specific to NFFs and ASFs, respectively. Here, EphA2 was established as a potential surface-specific marker to distinguish WJ-MSCs from fibroblasts and for prospective use to prepare pure primary cultures of WJ-MSCs. Additionally, CDH2 could be used for a negative-selection isolation/depletion method to remove neonatal fibroblasts contaminating preparations of WJ-MSCs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2020

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