Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Expression of serine/threonine protein kinase SGK1F promotes an hepatoblast state in stem cells directed to differentiate into hepatocytes

Lookup NU author(s): Rachel Wilson, Charlotte Candlish, Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim, Dr Alistair Leitch, Dr Tarek Mamdouh AbdelghanyORCiD, Professor Colin Wilson, Professor Lyle Armstrong, Professor Matthew Wright



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The rat pancreatic AR42J-B13 (B-13) cell line differentiates into non-replicative hepatocyte-like (B-13/H) cells in response to glucocorticoid. Since this response is dependent on an induction of serine/threonine protein kinase 1 (SGK1), this may suggest that a general pivotal role for SGK1 in hepatocyte maturation. To test this hypothesis, the effects of expressing adenoviral-encoded flag tagged human SGK1F (AdV-SGK1F) was examined at 3 stages of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) differentiation to hepatocytes. B-13 cells infected with AdV-SGK1F in the absence of glucocorticoid resulted in expression of flag tagged SGK1F protein; increases in β-catenin phosphorylation; decreases in Tcf/Lef transcriptional activity; expression of hepatocyte marker genes and conversion of B-13 cells to a cell phenotype near-similar to B-13/H cells. Given this demonstration of functionality, iPSCs directed to differentiate towards hepatocyte-like cells using a standard protocol of chemical inhibitors and mixtures of growth factors were additionally infected with AdV-SGK1F, either at an early time point during differentiation to endoderm; during endoderm differentiation to anterior definitive endoderm and hepatoblasts and once converted to hepatocyte-like cells. SGK1F expression had no effect on differentiation to endoderm, likely due to low levels of expression. However, expression of SGK1F in both iPSCs-derived endoderm and hepatocyte-like cells both resulted in promotion of cells to an hepatoblast phenotype. These data demonstrate that SGK1 expression promotes an hepatoblast phenotype rather than maturation of human iPSC towards a mature hepatocyte phenotype and suggest a transient role for Sgk1 in promoting an hepatoblast state in B-13 trans-differentiation to B-13/H cells.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alsaeedi F, Wilson R, Candlish C, Ibrahim I, Leitch AC, Abdelghany TM, Wilson C, Armstrong L, Wright MC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PloS One

Year: 2019

Volume: 14

Issue: 6

Online publication date: 26/06/2019

Acceptance date: 25/05/2019

Date deposited: 29/07/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218135

PubMed id: 31242206


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric