Exit From Pluripotency

Exit From Pluripotency Is Gated By Intracellular Redistribution Of The Bhlh Transcription Factor Tfe3.

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have the ability to develop into any tissue or organ. To do this they must first lose their stem cell identity which in turn allows formation of specific cell types, such as nerve or muscle. Understanding how ESCs change their identity is a fundamental challenge that can improve our ability to use stem cells in medical application. Joerg Betschinger tested thousands of genes to identify those that control the loss of ESC identity. He found a new mechanism involving genes called Folliculin and Tfe3 that were not previously known to act in ESCs. Intriguingly, these genes cause kidney cancer in humans, pointing to a link between stem cells and tumour formation.

Journal: Cell, Volume 153, Issue 2, 335-347, 11 April 2013, 10.1016/j.cell.2013.03.012

Authors: Joerg Betschinger, Jennifer Nichols, Sabine Dietmann, Philip D. Corrin, Patrick J. Paddison, Austin Smith

20-2013-smith image

Nuclear Tfe3 in ES cells sustains self-renewal (upper cluster of cells; Tfe3 in white; cellular and nuclear contours in red and green, respectively). Flcn-mediated cytoplasmic redistribution of Tfe3 is required for transition into commitment (lower cluster of cells). Cellular and nuclear outlines of Tfe3 immunostainings in ES and differentiating cells were determined using CellProfiler (Broad Institute).

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