Stem Cell SSEA Antigens
Stain Stem Cells with SSEAs
Stage-specific embryonic antigens (SSEAs) are a class of carbohydrate epitopes. As their name implies, they are associated with various stem cell differentiation stages. CD15/SSEA-1 is found on granulocytes, monocytes, and some malignant forms of cells. It is involved with adhesion, chemotaxis, phagocytosis, and bactericidal activity. SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 are expressed by human teratocarcinoma cells, embryonic stem cells and germ cells. SSEA-5 is expressed by embryonic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells. The expression levels of these SSEAs depends on the species of the animal and the differentiation state of the cells.
Adapted from: Hakomori, S. 2008. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1780: 325. Pubmed. This figure is an examination of SSEA epitopes and expression levels during mouse embryonic development. SSEA-5 contains the motif Fuc1-2Galbeta1-3GlcNAcbeta. While there are not as many details on SSEA-5 expression as the other SSEAs (as detailed above), it has been found to decrease upon cell differentiation.
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