Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent cells isolated from the bone marrow and various other organs. They are able to proliferate and self-renew, as well as to give rise to progeny of at least the osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic lineages. Despite this functional definition, MSCs can also be defined by their expression of a distinct set of cell surface markers. In the current paper, studies investigating the proteome of human MSCs are reviewed with the aim to identify common protein markers of MSCs. The proteomic analysis of MSCs revealed a distinct set of proteins representing the basic molecular inventory, including proteins for (i) cell surface markers, (ii) the responsiveness to growth factors, (iii) the reuse of developmental signaling cascades in adult stem cells, (iv) the interaction with molecules of the extracellular matrix, (v) the expression of genes regulating transcription and translation, (vi) the control of the cell number, and (vii) the protection against cellular stress.
The article is published online in the journal Stem Cells International and is free to access.