Stem cells and development

Zfp553 Is Essential for Maintenance and Acquisition of Pluripotency.

PMID 26423361


Pluripotent cells are promising tools in the arena of regenerative medicine. For many years, research efforts have been directed toward uncovering the underlying mechanisms that govern the pluripotent state and this involves identifying new pluripotency-associated factors. Zinc finger protein 553 (Zfp553) has been hypothesized to be one such factor because of its predominant expression in inner cell mass of the mouse early embryo. In this study, we have identified Zfp553 as a regulator of pluripotency. Zfp553 knockdown downregulates pluripotency markers and triggers differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Further investigation revealed that Zfp553 regulates pluripotency in mESCs through the transcriptional activation of Pou5f1 and Nanog. Microarray results revealed that depletion of Zfp553 downregulates many pluripotency genes, as well as genes associated with metabolism-related processes. ChIP-sequencing (ChIP-seq) depicted the genomic binding sites of Zfp553 in mESCs and its binding motif. In addition, we found that depletion of Zfp553 could impair somatic cell reprogramming, evidenced by reduced reprogramming efficiency and cell viability. Together, our preliminary findings provide novel insights to a newly identified pluripotency factor Zfp553 and its role in pluripotency regulation.