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Nodal Signaling in hPSCs

Nodal, a growth and differentiation factor with essential roles in embryonic development, is also critical for the maintenance and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). In a recent STEM CELLS article, researchers led by Martin F. Pera (The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA) reviews those recent studies that have clarified the role of Nodal signaling in hPSCs, highlighted spatial restrictions regarding Nodal signaling, and described how Nodal functions in vivo as a heterodimer with GDF3 (Growth Differentiation Factor 3), a TGF‐b superfamily member expressed by hPSC. Hayes et al. discuss the role of this pathway in the maintenance of the epiblast and hPSC in light of these new advances.