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Nucleus. 2011 Jul-Aug;2(4):300-9. doi: 10.4161/nucl.2.4.16767. Epub 2011 Jul 1.

H3K9 histone acetylation predicts pluripotency and reprogramming capacity of ES cells.

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Department of Genetics, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra campus, Jerusalem, Israel.


The pluripotent genome is characterized by unique epigenetic features and a decondensed chromatin conformation. However, the relationship between epigenetic regulation and pluripotency is not altogether clear. Here, using an enhanced MEF/ESC fusion protocol, we compared the reprogramming potency and histone modifications of different embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines (R1, J1, E14, C57BL/6) and found that E14 ESCs are significantly less potent, with significantly reduced H3K9ac levels. Treatment of E14 ESCs with histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACi) increased H3K9ac levels and restored their reprogramming capacity. Microarray and H3K9ac ChIP-seq analyses, suggested increased extracellular matrix (ECM) activity following HDACi treatment in E14 ESCs. These data suggest that H3K9ac may predict pluripotency and that increasing pluripotency by HDAC inhibition acts through H3K9ac to enhance the activity of target genes involved in ECM production to support pluripotency.

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