Selection of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines with high cardiac differentiation potential is important for regenerative therapy and drug screening. We aimed to identify biomarkers for predicting cardiac differentiation potential of hiPSC lines by comparing the gene expression profiles of six undifferentiated hiPSC lines with different cardiac differentiation capabilities. We used three platforms of gene expression analysis, namely, cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE), mRNA array, and microRNA array to efficiently screen biomarkers related to cardiac differentiation of hiPSCs. Statistical analysis revealed candidate biomarker genes with significant correlation between the gene expression levels in the undifferentiated hiPSCs and their cardiac differentiation potential. Of the candidate genes, PF4 was validated as a biomarker expressed in undifferentiated hiPSCs with high potential for cardiac differentiation in 13 additional hiPSC lines. Our observations suggest that PF4 may be a useful biomarker for selecting hiPSC lines appropriate for the generation of cardiomyocytes.
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