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Stem Cells Dev. 2018 Sep 1;27(17):1215-1225. doi: 10.1089/scd.2018.0059. Epub 2018 Aug 20.

Role of Epigenetic Regulation by the REST/CoREST/HDAC Corepressor Complex of Moderate NANOG Expression in Chicken Primordial Germ Cells.

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Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University , Seoul, Korea.


Primordial germ cells (PGCs), the precursors of gametes, have regulatory mechanisms involving transcription factors and epigenetic modifications. The transcription factor NANOG is a key regulator of germ cell and embryonic stem cell characteristics. However, the epigenetic regulation of NANOG with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex in PGCs has not been studied. In this study, we investigated the epigenetic regulation, and in particular the histone acetylation, of NANOG in chicken PGCs. Intriguingly, although NANOG was highly activated in chicken PGCs, the upstream region of its promoter was moderately suppressed by histone deacetylation. HDAC inhibition induced histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation (H3K9ac) and derepressed NANOG expression. Furthermore, knockdown studies revealed that HDAC complex members, such as RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST) and REST corepressor 3 (RCOR3), are important epigenetic modulators of NANOG expression in chicken PGCs. We demonstrate that moderate regulation of NANOG by the REST/CoREST/HDAC complex might be crucial for maintaining the integrity of PGCs.


NANOG; RE1-silencing transcription factor; REST corepressor; chicken; histone deacetylation; primordial germ cells

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