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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Mar 27;104(13):5668-73. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Wnt/beta-catenin/CBP signaling maintains long-term murine embryonic stem cell pluripotency.

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Central R&D Laboratories, Asahi Kasei Corporation, Shizuoka 416-8501, Japan.


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent an important research tool and a potential resource for regenerative medicine. Generally, ESCs are cocultured with a supportive feeder cell layer of murine embryonic fibroblasts, which maintain the ESCs' capacity for self-renewal and block spontaneous differentiation. These cumbersome conditions, as well as the risk of xenobiotic contamination of human ESCs grown on murine embryonic fibroblasts, make it a priority to develop chemically defined methods that can be safely used for the expansion of ESCs. Using a high-throughput, cell-based assay, we identified the small molecule IQ-1 that allows for the Wnt/beta-catenin-driven long-term expansion of mouse ESCs and prevents spontaneous differentiation. We demonstrate that IQ-1, by targeting the PR72/130 subunit of the serine/threonine phosphatase PP2A, prevents beta-catenin from switching coactivator usage from CBP to p300. The increase in beta-catenin/CBP-mediated transcription at the expense of beta-catenin/p300-mediated transcription is critical for the maintenance of murine stem cell pluripotency.

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