Molecular Characterization of the Human NANOG Protein

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Research Immunology/Bone Marrow Transplantation, Saban Research Institute at Childrens Hospital Los Angles, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Stem Cells (Impact Factor: 6.52). 05/2009; 27(4):812-21. DOI: 10.1634/stemcells.2008-0657
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT NANOG is a key transcriptional regulator of pluripotent stem cell (PSC) self-renewal. NANOG occupies promoters that are active and others that are repressed during self-renewal; however, the mechanisms by which NANOG regulates transcriptional repression and activation are unknown. We hypothesized that individual protein domains of NANOG control its interactions with both the promoters and its coregulators. We performed a detailed characterization of the functional domains in the human (h) NANOG protein, using a panel of deletion-mutant and point-mutant constructs. We determined that six amino acids in the homeodomain ((136)YKQVKT(141)) are sufficient for the nuclear localization of hNANOG. We also determined that the tryptophan-rich region (W) of hNANOG contains a CRM1-independent signal for nuclear export, suggesting a possible cellular shuttling behavior that has not been reported for hNANOG. We also show that at least four tryptophans are required for nuclear export. We also determined that similar to murine (m) NANOG, the W region of hNANOG contains a homodimerization domain. Finally, in vitro transactivation analyses identified distinct regions that enhance or diminish activity at gene promoters that are active during self-renewal. Specifically, the N-terminal region interferes with transcription and removal of this region that produced a "super-active" hNANOG with enhanced transcriptional activity. We also confirmed that the transcriptional activator in hNANOG is contained in the C-terminal region, similar to murine NANOG. In summary, this study has characterized the structure and function of hNANOG protein leading to an increased understanding of the mechanism by which hNANOG regulates both transcriptional activation and repression during PSC self-renewal.

1 Follower
7 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Toti- or pluripotent cells proliferation and/or differentiation have been shown to be strongly related to nuclear chromatin organization and structure over the last past years. We have recently identified ZFPIP/Zfp462 as a zinc finger nuclear factor necessary for correct cell division during early embryonic developmental steps of vertebrates. We thus questioned whether this factor was playing a general role during cell division or if it was somehow involved in embryonic cell fate or differentiation. To achieve this goal, we performed a knock-down experiment in the pluripotent P19 and differentiated 3T3 cell lines, both expressing endogenous ZFPIP/Zfp462. Using specific shRNA directed against ZFPIP/Zfp462 transcripts, we demonstrated that depletion of this protein induced cell death in P19 but had no effect in 3T3 cells. In addition, in the absence of the protein, the P19 cells exhibited a complete destructuration of pericentromeric domains associated with a redistribution of the HP1alpha proteins and an increase in DNA satellites transcribed RNAs level. These data suggested an instrumental role of ZFPIP/Zfp462 in maintaining the chromatin structure of pluripotent cells.
    Experimental Cell Research 02/2010; 316(7):1190-201. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2010.02.024 · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The transcription factor NANOG is essential for maintaining pluripotency in embryonic stem cells. We have previously reported the expression of NANOG in adult human fibroblasts; here we present a more thorough investigation into the expression of NANOG in a panel of both differentiated and undifferentiated human cells. We utilize RT-PCR, qRT-PCR, cloning and sequencing, sequence alignment, restriction digestion, immunocytochemistry, Western blotting, and EMSA to investigate expression of NANOG in a variety of somatic, transformed and stem cell phenotypes. RT-PCR and qRT-PCR analysis revealed the presence of NANOG transcripts in all the cell types examined, albeit at magnitudes lower than human embryonic stem cells. Further investigation by single nucleotide polymorphism analysis of expressed transcripts in several cell types detected a NANOG pseudogene, NANOGP8, one of only two NANOG pseudogenes with the potential of encoding a similar size protein to embryonic NANOG (eNANOG). Our analysis demonstrates that although the NANOG protein is detected in nearly all cells examined, expression of the eNANOG and/or NANOGP8 transcript as well as the sub-cellular localization of the protein is cell type-specific. Additionally, smooth muscle cells, which express exclusively NANOGP8, display nuclear localization of NANOG protein, indicating that NANOGP8 is a protein coding gene possibly functioning as a transcription factor. Lastly, all cell types expressing eNANOG and/or NANOGP8 were found to be capable of binding a NANOG consensus sequence in vitro. We conclude that eNANOG is not exclusively expressed in undifferentiated cells and that both eNANOG and NANOGP8 may function as transcription factors in a cell type-specific manner.
    The International journal of developmental biology 11/2010; 54(11-12):1743-54. DOI:10.1387/ijdb.103192sa · 1.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Homeodomain proteins are crucial transcription factors for cell differentiation, cell proliferation and organ development. Interestingly, their homeodomain signature structure is important for both their DNA-binding and their nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. The accurate nucleocytoplasmic distribution of these proteins is essential for their functions. We summarize information on (a) the roles of karyopherins for import and export of homeoproteins, (b) the regulation of their nuclear transport during development, and (c) the corresponding complexity of homeoprotein nucleocytoplasmic transport signals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Regulation of Signaling and Cellular Fate through Modulation of Nuclear Protein Import.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2011; 1813(9):1654-62. DOI:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2011.01.013 · 4.66 Impact Factor
Show more


7 Reads