Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are multipotent cells with great potential in therapy, reflected by more than 500 MSC-based clinical trials registered with the NIH. MSC are derived from multiple tissues but require invasive harvesting and imply donor-to-donor variability. Embryonic stem cell-derived MSC (ESC-MSC) may provide an alternative, but how similar they are to ex vivo MSC is unknown. Here we performed an in depth characterization of human ESC-MSC, comparing them to human bone marrow-derived MSC (BM-MSC) as well as human embryonic stem cells (hESC) by transcriptomics (RNA-seq) and quantitative proteomics (nanoLC-MS/MS using SILAC). Data integration highlighted and validated a central role of vesicle-mediated transport and exosomes in MSC biology and also demonstrated, through enrichment analysis, their versatility and broad application potential. Particular emphasis was placed on comparing profiles between ESC-MSC and BM-MSC and assessing their equivalency. Data presented here shows that differences between ESC-MSC and BM-MSC are similar in magnitude to those reported for MSC of different origin and the former may thus represent an alternative source for therapeutic applications. Finally, we report an unprecedented coverage of MSC CD markers, as well as membrane associated proteins which may benefit immunofluorescence-based applications and contribute to a refined molecular description of MSC.
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