Cadherin-11 Influences Differentiation in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Regulating the Extracellular Matrix Via the TGFβ1 Pathway

Fiona R Passanha, Thomas Geuens, Vanessa L S LaPointe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


For regenerative medicine, directing stem cell fate is one of the key aims. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are versatile adult stem cells that have been proposed for several clinical applications, making directing their fate of utmost importance. For most clinical applications, their differentiation toward the adipogenic lineage is an undesired outcome. Understanding the mechanisms that regulate hMSC commitment toward the adipogenic lineage might help open up new avenues for fine-tuning implanted hMSCs for regenerative medicine applications. We know that cadherin-11 is required for hMSC commitment to the adipogenic lineage; therefore, we sought to investigate the mechanisms through which cadherin-11 regulates adipogenic differentiation. We observed that hMSCs lacking cadherin-11 had decreased expression of type VI collagen and increased expression of fibronectin. We provide evidence of increased transforming growth factor beta 1 and the subsequent translocation of phosphorylated SMAD2/3 into the nucleus by cells that lack cadherin-11, which could be attributed to the changes in extracellular matrix composition. Taken together, our study implicates cadherin-11 in regulating extracellular matrix production and thereby helping improve cell- and material-based regenerative medicine approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-677
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cells
Issue number7
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2022


  • 3
  • SMAD3
  • SSMAD2
  • adipogenic differentiation
  • fibronectin
  • type VI collagen

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