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Cell. 2005 Sep 23;122(6):947-56.

Core transcriptional regulatory circuitry in human embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

Abstract

The transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG have essential roles in early development and are required for the propagation of undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells in culture. To gain insights into transcriptional regulation of human ES cells, we have identified OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG target genes using genome-scale location analysis. We found, surprisingly, that OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG co-occupy a substantial portion of their target genes. These target genes frequently encode transcription factors, many of which are developmentally important homeodomain proteins. Our data also indicate that OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG collaborate to form regulatory circuitry consisting of autoregulatory and feedforward loops. These results provide new insights into the transcriptional regulation of stem cells and reveal how OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG contribute to pluripotency and self-renewal.

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PMID:
16153702
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3006442
Free PMC Article
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