Functional Blood Progenitor Markers in Developing Human Liver Progenitors

Orit Goldman, Idan Cohen, Valerie Gouon-Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the early fetal liver, hematopoietic progenitors expand and mature together with hepatoblasts, the liver progenitors of hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. Previous analyses of human fetal livers indicated that both progenitors support each other's lineage maturation and curiously share some cell surface markers including CD34 and CD133. Using the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) system, we demonstrate that virtually all hESC-derived hepatoblast-like cells (Hep cells) transition through a progenitor stage expressing CD34 and CD133 as well as GATA2, an additional hematopoietic marker that has not previously been associated with human hepatoblast development. Dynamic expression patterns for CD34, CD133, and GATA2 in hepatoblasts were validated in human fetal livers collected from the first and second trimesters of gestation. Knockdown experiments demonstrate that each gene also functions to regulate hepatic fate mostly in a cell-autonomous fashion, revealing unprecedented roles of fetal hematopoietic progenitor markers in human liver progenitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Aug 2016


  • hematopoietic progenitor marker
  • hepatoblast
  • human embryonic stem cell
  • human liver development


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