Differential transcription factor expression by human epithelial cells of buccal and urothelial derivation

Jennifer Southgate, Arianna Hustler, Ian Eardley, Jennifer Susan Hinley, Joanna Frances Pearson, Felix Wezel, François Radvanyi, Simon Charles Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identification of transcription factors expressed by differentiated cells is informative not only of tissue-specific pathways, but to help identify master regulators for cellular reprogramming. If applied, such an approach could generate healthy autologous tissue-specific cells for clinical use where cells from the homologous tissue are unavailable due to disease. Normal human epithelial cells of buccal and urothelial derivation maintained in identical culture conditions that lacked significant instructive or permissive signalling cues were found to display inherent similarities and differences of phenotype. Investigation of transcription factors implicated in driving urothelial-type differentiation revealed buccal epithelial cells to have minimal or absent expression of PPARG, GATA3 and FOXA1 genes. Retroviral overexpression of GATA3 or PPARG1 coding sequences in buccal epithelial cells resulted in nuclear immunolocalisation of the respective proteins, with both transductions also inducing expression of the urothelial differentiation-associated claudin 3 tight junction protein. PPARγ1 overexpression alone entrained expression of nuclear FOXA1 and GATA3 proteins, providing objective evidence of its upstream positioning in a transcription factor network and identifying it as a candidate factor for urothelial-type transdifferentiation or reprogramming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-294
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental cell research
Issue number2
Early online date26 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2018

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