Development of a practical sandwich assay to detect human pluripotent stem cells using cell culture media

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Human pluripotent stem cells are considered to be ideal cell sources for regenerative medicine, but their clinical and industrial application is hindered by their tumorigenic potential. Previously we have identified a pluripotent stem cell-specific lectin rBC2LCN recognizing podocalyxin as a cell surface ligand. More recently, podocalyxin was found to be a soluble ligand of rBC2LCN that is secreted specifically from human pluripotent stem cells into cell culture media. Taking advantage of this phenomenon, we have previously developed a sandwich assay targeting the soluble podocalyxin using rBC2LCN as a capturing probe and another lectin rABA as an overlay probe to detect human pluripotent stem cells residing in cell therapy products derived from human pluripotent stem cells. A drawback to this, however, was that cell culture media containing fetal bovine serum was found to cause a substantial background signal to the sandwich assay. To reduce the background and increase the sensitivity, we screened different overlay probes to detect the soluble podocalyxin. Among them, an anti-keratan sulfate monoclonal antibody called R-10G showed the highest sensitivity and provided a low background signal to fetal bovine serum. The established sandwich assay using rBC2LCN and R-10G was proved to be powerful, which allowed the high-sensitive detection of human induced pluripotent stem cells residing among clinical-grade cardiomyocytes and neural stem cells, both derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. The developed method has a possibility to be a standard technology to detect human induced pluripotent stem cells resided in various types of cell therapy products.




Tateno, H., Hiemori, K., Hirayasu, K., Sougawa, N., Fukuda, M., Warashina, M., … Hirabayashi, J. (2017). Development of a practical sandwich assay to detect human pluripotent stem cells using cell culture media. Regenerative Therapy, 6, 1–8.

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