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Cell Death Differ. 2014 Apr;21(4):624-33. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2013.188. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Lats2 is critical for the pluripotency and proper differentiation of stem cells.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
  • 2Faculty of Biochemistry, Biological Services Unit, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Differentiation is a highly controlled process essential for embryonic and adult development. Moreover, disruption of proper differentiation is often associated with human diseases, including cancer. We analyzed the involvement of the tumor-suppressor Lats2 in mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) pluripotency and differentiation, and report that mESCs lacking Lats2 are unable to sustain stemness and are not able to initiate and coordinate developmental transcriptional programs. Lats2-/- mESCs retain bivalent 'poised' chromatin marks on developmental genes and exhibit germ layer ambiguity both in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, in coordinating proper germ layer specification, Lats2 engages in a feedback loop with another tumor suppressor, p53.

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