Transcription factors that behave as master regulators during mammalian embryogenesis function as molecular rheostats.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three transcription factors, Sox2, Oct-3/4 and Nanog, have been identified as master regulators that orchestrate mammalian embryogenesis as well as the self-renewal and pluripotency of ES (embryonic stem) cells. Efforts to understand how these transcription factors function have shown that they have a special property in common. Small changes in the expression of any one of these factors dramatically alter the self-renewal and pluripotency of ES cells. In this way, each functions as a molecular rheostat to control the behaviour of ES cells. Recent studies have begun to examine the molecular mechanisms that regulate the levels of these transcription factors. In this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Mullin and co-workers report that Nanog can self-associate to form dimers. Importantly, they also show that the domain responsible for dimerization is also needed for Nanog to sustain the self-renewal of ES cells in the absence of the cytokine LIF (leukaemia inhibitory factor). On the basis of their studies, they propose a novel mechanism for regulating the interactions between Nanog and other nuclear proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e5-7
JournalThe Biochemical journal
Volume411
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008

Fingerprint

Embryonic Stem Cells
Stem cells
Embryonic Development
Transcription Factors
Octamer Transcription Factor-3
Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
Behavior Control
Dimerization
Nuclear Proteins
Dimers
Cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Transcription factors that behave as master regulators during mammalian embryogenesis function as molecular rheostats. / Rizzino, A Angie.

In: The Biochemical journal, Vol. 411, No. 2, 15.04.2008, p. e5-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

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