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Stem Cells. 2011 May;29(5):791-801. doi: 10.1002/stem.634.

RCOR2 is a subunit of the LSD1 complex that regulates ESC property and substitutes for SOX2 in reprogramming somatic cells to pluripotency.

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College of Life Science, Peking University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Histone demethylase LSD1 can form complex with different Rcor family corepressors in different cell types. It remains unknown if cell-specific Rcor proteins function specifically in distinct cell types. Here, we report that Rcor2 is predominantly expressed in ESCs and forms a complex with LSD1 and facilitates its nucleosomal demethylation activity. Knockdown of Rcor2 in ESCs inhibited ESC proliferation and severely impaired the pluripotency. Moreover, knockdown of Rcor2 greatly impaired the formation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. In contrast, ectopic expression of Rcor2 in somatic cells together with Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 promoted the formation of iPS cells. Most interestingly, ectopic expression of Rcor2 in both mouse and human somatic cells effectively substituted the requirement for exogenous Sox2 expression in somatic cell reprogramming.

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