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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Feb 16;353(3):699-705. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Beta-catenin up-regulates Nanog expression through interaction with Oct-3/4 in embryonic stem cells.

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Department of Stem Cell Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8640, Japan.


It is well known that mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells can be maintained by the presence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Recent studies have revealed that Wnt also exhibits activity similar to LIF. The molecular mechanism behind the maintenance of ES cells by these factors, however, is not fully understood. In this study, we found that LIF enhances level of nuclear beta-catenin, a component of the Wnt signaling pathway. Expression of an activated mutant of beta-catenin led to the long-term proliferation of ES cells, even in the absence of LIF. Furthermore, it was found that beta-catenin up-regulates Nanog in an Oct-3/4-dependent manner and that beta-catenin physically associates with Oct-3/4. These results suggest that up-regulating Nanog through interaction with Oct-3/4 involves beta-catenin in the LIF- and Wnt-mediated maintenance of ES cell self-renewal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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