Stem Cell Signaling

Various stem cell signaling pathways influence stem cell generation, self-renewal and differentiation. In vivo, the microenvironment responsible for maintaining stem cells in pluripotent form and enabling their self-renewal is called the stem-cell niche.

Cat No Product Name / Activity
1515 17-AAG
Selective Hsp90 inhibitor; protects neuroprogenitor cells against stress-induced apoptosis
3979 Alexidine dihydrochloride
Selective inhibitor of PTPMT1; maintains functional HSCs ex vivo
3299 AMD 3100 octahydrochloride
Highly selective CXCR4 antagonist; mobilizes hematopoietic stem cells in vivo
3194 BIO
Maintains self-renewal and pluripotency of ESCs; potent inhibitor of GSK-3; also inhibits cdks
5051 BIO 5192
Integrin α4β1 inhibitor; mobilizes HSCs and progenitors
3874 BIO-acetoxime
Selective GSK-3α/β inhibitor; inhibits CD8+ T cell effector differentiation
6047 BOP
Preferentially mobilizes HSCs; dual α9β1/α4β1 integrin inhibitor
5050 CASIN
Cdc42 GTPase inhibitor; functionally rejuvenates aged HSCs
4529 Ciliobrevin A
Hedgehog pathway antagonist; inhibits ciliogenesis
1623 Cyclopamine
Inhibitor of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling; depletes stem-like cancer cells in glioblastoma
4027 16,16-Dimethyl Prostaglandin E2
Synthetic prostaglandin E2 (Cat. No. 2296) derivative; regulates HSC development
1769 Flurbiprofen
Cyclooxygenase inhibitor; regulates prostate stem cell antigen
3889 GANT 58
GLI1 antagonist; inhibits Hh signaling
3191 GANT 61
GLI antagonist; inhibits Hh signaling
1368 Geldanamycin
Selective Hsp90 inhibitor; breast cancer stem cell inhibitor
4474 20(S)-Hydroxycholesterol
Allosteric activator of Hedgehog signaling; induces Smo accumulation
3533 IWP 2
PORCN inhibitor; suppresses self-renewal in R1 ESCs
3532 endo-IWR 1
Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor; axin stabilizer
3341 JK 184
Downstream Hh signaling pathway inhibitor; inhibits alcohol dehydrogenase 7
3258 Mitomycin C
Used for MEF/STO feeder layer preparation in stem cell culture
5522 Napabucasin
STAT3 inhibitor; blocks cancer stem cell self-renewal
4079 Niclosamide
STAT3 and mTORC1 signaling inhibitor; antineoplastic against AML stem cells
1267 Pifithrin-α hydrobromide
p53 inhibitor; supresses self renewal of embryonic stem cells
2296 Prostaglandin E2
Major endogenous prostanoid
3324 QS 11
ARFGAP1 inhibitor; modulates Wnt signaling pathway
6048 R-BC154
Mobilizes HSCs; high affinity fluorescent α4β1/α9β1 inhibitor
3667 SR 3677 dihydrochloride
Potent, selective Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibitor
4855 WIKI4
Tankyrase inhibitor; inhibits Wnt signaling
3748 XAV 939
Tankyrase inhibitor; promotes cardiomyogenesis

Various signals influence stem cell generation, self-renewal and differentiation. In vivo, the microenvironment responsible for maintaining stem cells in pluripotent form and enabling their self-renewal is called the stem-cell niche. Environmental cues and certain signal pathways, such as the Wnt and JAK-STAT pathways, contribute to the maintenance of this niche.

Communication between the stem cells within this environment helps coordinate the process of differentiation, after it is triggered by signal molecules such as growth factors and Wnt proteins. Signaling pathways closely linked to developmental processes, and which are frequently dysregulated in cancer - e.g. Notch, Hedgehog and Wnt - have also been linked with the regulation of stem cell self-renewal. Internal signals, controlled by the cell's genes, play an equally important role in stem cell differentiation. While these signaling pathways are integral to the generation of specific differentiated cells, the mechanisms that determine differentiated cell type and destination are not entirely understood.

Other signals result in the reprogramming of differentiated cells, generating embryonic-like stem cells. Transcription factors such as Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog regulate the expression of selected induction genes and are used to create pluripotent cells. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a viable alternative to embryonic stem cells (ESCs), without the moral issues affecting human ESC use. Recent research has moved away from the use of viruses and oncogenes to genomically alter adult cells; instead, recombinant proteins have been used to successfully generate murine piPSCs (protein-induced pluripotent stem cells). The fusion of pluripotent cells with somatic cells also enables the transfer of pluripotent phenotype by an unknown mechanism.

Literature for Stem Cell Signaling

Tocris offers the following scientific literature for Stem Cell Signaling to showcase our products. We invite you to request* or download your copy today!

*Please note that Tocris will only send literature to established scientific business / institute addresses.


Cancer Research Product Guide

A collection of over 750 products for cancer research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Epigenetics in Cancer
  • Receptor Signaling
  • Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair
  • Angiogenesis
  • Invasion and Metastasis
Stem Cells

Stem Cells Scientific Review

Written by Kirsty E. Clarke, Victoria B. Christie, Andy Whiting and Stefan A. Przyborski, this review provides an overview of the use of small molecules in the control of stem cell growth and differentiation. Key signaling pathways are highlighted, and the regulation of ES cell self-renewal and somatic cell reprogramming is discussed. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.

Stem Cell Workflow

Stem Cell Workflow Poster

Stem cells have potential as a source of cells and tissues for research and treatment of disease. This poster summarizes some key protocols demonstrating the use of small molecules across the stem cell workflow, from reprogramming, through self-renewal, storage and differentiation to verification. Advantages of using small molecules are also highlighted.

Stem Cells

Stem Cells Poster

Written by Rebecca Quelch and Stefan Przyborski from Durham University (UK), this poster describes the isolation of pluripotent stem cells, their maintenance in culture, differentiation, and the generation and potential uses of organoids.