Glycoprotein 2 is a specific cell surface marker of human pancreatic progenitors

Kathryn F. Cogger, Ankit Sinha, Farida Sarangi, Emily C. McGaugh, Diane Saunders, Craig Dorrell, Salvador Mejia-Guerrero, Yasaman Aghazadeh, Jillian L. Rourke, Robert A. Screaton, Markus Grompe, Philip R. Streeter, Alvin C. Powers, Marcela Brissova, Thomas Kislinger, M. Cristina Nostro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


PDX1+/NKX6-1+ pancreatic progenitors (PPs) give rise to endocrine cells both in vitro and in vivo. This cell population can be successfully differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and hold the potential to generate an unlimited supply of β cells for diabetes treatment. However, the efficiency of PP generation in vitro is highly variable, negatively impacting reproducibility and validation of in vitro and in vivo studies, and consequently, translation to the clinic. Here, we report the use of a proteomics approach to phenotypically characterize hPSC-derived PPs and distinguish these cells from non-PP populations during differentiation. Our analysis identifies the pancreatic secretory granule membrane major glycoprotein 2 (GP2) as a PP-specific cell surface marker. Remarkably, GP2 is co-expressed with NKX6-1 and PTF1A in human developing pancreata, indicating that it marks the multipotent pancreatic progenitors in vivo. Finally, we show that isolated hPSC-derived GP2+ cells generate β-like cells (C-PEPTIDE+/NKX6-1+) more efficiently compared to GP2- and unsorted populations, underlining the potential therapeutic applications of GP2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number331
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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