Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Mar 24, 2008

Scientists Uncover Protein Involved in Maintaining ES Cell Pluripotency

  • A protein known as RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST) blocks the expression of an miRNA that prevents embryonic stem cells from reproducing themselves and causes them to differentiate into specific cell types, report scientists at the The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

    In studies using mouse embryonic stem cells, the researchers found that REST disarms a specific miRNA called miR-21. They observed that miR-21 suppresses embryonic stem cell self-renewal and is associated with a corresponding loss of expression of critical self-renewal regulators such as Oct4, Nanog, Sox2, and c-Myc. REST counters this by suppressing miR-21 to preserve the cells’ self-renewal and pluripotency, according to the investigators.

    These experiments also revealed that REST is bound to the gene chromatin of a set of miRNAs with the potential to target self-renewal genes and that REST controls transcription of 11 miRNAs.

    The study was published on March 23 in Nature.



Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Cancer vs. Zika: What Worries You Most?

While Zika continues to garner a lot of news coverage, a Mayo Clinic survey reveals that Americans believe the country’s most significant healthcare challenge is cancer. Compared to other diseases, does the possibility of developing cancer worry you the most?

More »