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  • A cytokine screen using CRISPR-Cas9 knock-in reporter pig iPS cells reveals that Activin A regulates NANOG.

A cytokine screen using CRISPR-Cas9 knock-in reporter pig iPS cells reveals that Activin A regulates NANOG.

Stem cell research & therapy (2020-02-20)
Junjun Xu, Zheng Zheng, Xuguang Du, Bingbo Shi, Jichang Wang, Dengfeng Gao, Qianqian Zhu, Xinze Chen, Jianyong Han
ABSTRACT

NANOG functions as the gateway for the generation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in mice and humans. NANOG is a transcription factor highly expressed in pig pre-implantation embryos, indicating that it is a conserved pluripotency-associated factor. However, pig NANOG reporter PSCs have yet to be established, and the regulation of pluripotency by NANOG is not fully understood in this animal. In this study, pig NANOG tdTomato knock-in reporter positive PC-iPS cells were established using CRISPR/Cas9. The resulting cell line was treated with several cytokines and their corresponding inhibitors to identify pathways that regulate NANOG expression. The pathways examined were LIF (leukemia inhibitory factor)/IL6 (interleukin 6)-STAT3, FGF (fibroblast growth factor)/ERK, IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)/PIP3 (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)-AKT, Activin A/SMAD, and BMP4 (bone morphogenetic proteins)/SMAD. Our experiments showed that the Activin A/SMAD pathway is directly associated with activation of NANOG expression in the pig, as is also the case in mice and humans. Activin A directly regulates the expression of pig NANOG via SMAD2/3; inhibition of this pathway by SB431542 resulted in inhibition of NANOG expression. Our results show that Activin A plays an important regulatory role in NANOG-mediated pluripotency in pig iPS cells. Activin A treatment may be therefore an effective method for de novo derivation of authentic embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from pig pre-implantation embryos.

MATERIALS
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Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
L-Ascorbic acid, 99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Monoclonal ANTI-FLAG® M2 antibody produced in mouse, 1 mg/mL, clone M2, affinity isolated antibody, buffered aqueous solution (50% glycerol, 10 mM sodium phosphate, and 150 mM NaCl, pH 7.4)