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1 December 2006 Transcriptional Profiling of Rhesus Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells
James A. Byrne, Shoukhrat M. Mitalipov, Lisa Clepper, Don P. Wolf
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Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) may be able to cure or alleviate the symptoms of various degenerative diseases. However, unresolved issues regarding survival, functionality, and tumor formation mean a prudent approach should be adopted towards advancing ESCs into human clinical trials. The rhesus monkey provides an ideal model organism for developing strategies to prevent immune rejection and test the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of ESC-based medical treatments. Transcriptional profiling of rhesus monkey ESCs provides a foundation for pre-clinical ESC research in this species. In the present study, we used microarray technology, immunocytochemistry, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to characterize and transcriptionally profile rhesus monkey ESCs. We identified 367 stemness gene candidates that were highly (>85%) conserved across five different ESC lines. Rhesus monkey ESC lines maintained a pluripotent undifferentiated state over a wide range of POU5F1 (also known as OCT4) expression levels, and comparisons between rhesus monkey, mouse, and human stemness genes revealed five mammalian stemness genes: CCNB1, GDF3, LEFTB, POU5F1, and NANOG. These five mammalian genes are strongly expressed in rhesus monkey, mouse, and human ESCs, albeit only in the undifferentiated state, and represent the core key mammalian stemness factors.

James A. Byrne, Shoukhrat M. Mitalipov, Lisa Clepper, and Don P. Wolf "Transcriptional Profiling of Rhesus Monkey Embryonic Stem Cells," Biology of Reproduction 75(6), 908-915, (1 December 2006).
Received: 13 May 2006; Accepted: 1 July 2006; Published: 1 December 2006

gene regulation
stem cells
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