Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 253–265 | Cite as

TRPC3 is required for the survival, pluripotency and neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs)

  • Helen Baixia Hao
  • Sarah E. Webb
  • Jianbo Yue
  • Marc Moreau
  • Catherine Leclerc
  • Andrew L. Miller
Cover Article


Transient receptor potential canonical subfamily member 3 (TRPC3) is known to be important for neural development and the formation of neuronal networks. Here, we investigated the role of TRPC3 in undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and during the differentiation of mESCs into neurons. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout (KO) of TRPC3 induced apoptosis and the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential both in undifferentiated mESCs and in those undergoing neural differentiation. In addition, TRPC3 KO impaired the pluripotency of mESCs. TRPC3 KO also dramatically repressed the neural differentiation of mESCs by inhibiting the expression of markers for neural progenitors, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Taken together, our new data demonstrate an important function of TRPC3 with regards to the survival, pluripotency and neural differentiation of mESCs.


transient receptor potential canonical subfamily member 3 (TRPC3) mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) neuron differentiation CRISPR/Cas9 pluripotency apoptosis mitochondrial membrane potential 


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We thank Prof. Austin Smith (Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, UK), for kindly providing us with the 46C cells. We also thank Ms. Mandy Chan (HKUST, Hong Kong) for her technical support and Prof. Jacques Haiech (University of Strasbourg, France) for his helpful comments about the project. This work was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund awards (662113, 16101714, 16100115), the ANR/RGC joint research scheme award (AHKUST601/ 13), the Hong Kong Theme-based Research Scheme award (T13-706/11-1) and the Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission (ITCPD/17-9).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Baixia Hao
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Webb
    • 1
  • Jianbo Yue
    • 2
  • Marc Moreau
    • 3
  • Catherine Leclerc
    • 3
  • Andrew L. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Life Science and State Key Laboratory of Molecular NeuroscienceHKUST, Clear Water BayHong KongChina
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesCity University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  3. 3.Centre de Biologie du Développement (CBD), Centre de Biologie Intégrative (CBI)Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UPSToulouseFrance

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