Pluripotent stem cells are a unique cell type with promising potential in regenerative and personalized medicine. Yet the difficulty to understand and coax their seemingly stochastic differentiation and spontaneous self-renewal have largely limited their clinical applications. A call has been made by numerous researchers for a better characterization of surface proteins on these cells, in search of biomarkers that can dictate developmental stages and lineage specifications, and can help formulate mechanistic insight of stem-cell fate choices. In the past two decades, proteomics has gained significant recognition in profiling surface proteins at high throughput. This review will summarize the impact of these studies on stem-cell biology, and discuss the used proteomic techniques. A systematic comparison of all the techniques and their results is also attempted here to help reveal pros, cons, and the complementarity of the existing methods. This awareness should assist in selecting suitable strategies for stem-cell related research, and shed light on technical improvements that can be explored in the future.
Member of collection