Characterization of human embryonic stem cell lines by the International Stem Cell Initiative

Oluseun Adewumi, Behrouz Aflatoonian, Lars Ahrlund-Richter, Michal Amit, Peter W. Andrews*, Gemma Beighton, Paul A. Bello, Nissim Benvenisty, Lorraine S. Berry, Simon Bevan, Barak Blum, Justin Brooking, Kevin G. Chen, Andre B.H. Choo, Gary A. Churchill, Marie Corbel, Ivan Damjanov, Jon S. Draper, Petr Dvorak, Katarina EmanuelssonRoland A. Fleck, Angela Ford, Karin Gertow, Marina Gertsenstein, Paul J. Gokhale, Rebecca S. Hamilton, Ales Hampl, Lyn E. Healy, Outi Hovatta, Johan Hyllner, Marta P. Imreh, Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, Jamie Jackson, Jacqueline L. Johnson, Mark Jones, Kehkooi Kee, Benjamin L. King, Barbara B. Knowles, Majlinda Lako, Franck Lebrin, Barbara S. Mallon, Daisy Manning, Yoav Mayshar, Ronald D.G. McKay, Anna E. Michalska, Milla Mikkola, Masha Mileikovsky, Stephen L. Minger, Harry D. Moore, Christine L. Mummery, Andras Nagy, Norio Nakatsuji, Carmel M. O'Brien, Steve K.W. Oh, Cia Olsson, Timo Otonkoski, Kye Yoon Park, Robert Passier, Hema Patel, Minal Patel, Roger Pedersen, Martin F. Pera, Marian S. Piekarczyk, Renee A.Reijo Pera, Benjamin E. Reubinoff, Allan J. Robins, Janet Rossant, Peter Rugg-Gunn, Thomas C. Schulz, Henrik Semb, Eric S. Sherrer, Henrike Siemen, Glyn N. Stacey, Miodrag Stojkovic, Hirofumi Suemori, Jin Szatkiewicz, Tikva Turetsky, Timo Tuuri, Steineke Van Den Brink, Kristina Vintersten, Sanna Vuoristo, Dorien Ward, Thomas A. Weaver, Lesley A. Young, Weidong Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

894 Scopus citations


The International Stem Cell Initiative characterized 59 human embryonic stem cell lines from 17 laboratories worldwide. Despite diverse genotypes and different techniques used for derivation and maintenance, all lines exhibited similar expression patterns for several markers of human embryonic stem cells. They expressed the glycolipid antigens SSEA3 and SSEA4, the keratan sulfate antigens TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81, GCTM2 and GCT343, and the protein antigens CD9, Thy1 (also known as CD90), tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase and class 1 HLA, as well as the strongly developmentally regulated genes NANOG, POU5F1 (formerly known as OCT4), TDGF1, DNMT3B, GABRB3 and GDF3. Nevertheless, the lines were not identical: differences in expression of several lineage markers were evident, and several imprinted genes showed generally similar allele-specific expression patterns, but some gene-dependent variation was observed. Also, some female lines expressed readily detectable levels of XIST whereas others did not. No significant contamination of the lines with mycoplasma, bacteria or cytopathic viruses was detected.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)803-816
Number of pages14
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The International Stem Cell Initiative was sponsored and supported by the International Stem Cell Forum. Additional support from individual participants, and for elements of the project, was also provided by: A*STAR; Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; The Academy of Finland; Applied Biosystems; Axordia Ltd.; Bayer; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Centre for Cell Therapy and Tissue Repair, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; Chemicon now part of Millipore; Dutch Platform for Tissue Engineering; The Ellison Medical Foundation; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; Embryonic Stem Cell International; GE Healthcare; The Helsinki University Central Hospital Research; Invitrogen Corporation; The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; The Medical Research Council; The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, & Technology of Japan; The National Institute for Biological Standards & Control; National Institutes of Health grants 9R24RR021314-04, 5R24RR018405, 5R24RR017498-04; One North East Regional Developmental Agency; The Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation; Stem Cell Network Canada; Stem Cells in Development and Disease; Swedish Research Council. We would like to thank the following for their invaluable assistance with the project: Marga van Rooijen, Hubrecht Laboratory; Christine Pigott, University of Sheffield; Ludmila Ruban, University


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