A review of gene expression profiling of human embryonic stem cell lines and their differentiated progeny.
ABSTRACT One of the key characteristics of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) is their ability to proliferate for an indefinite period of time. Previous studies have shown that a unique network of transcription factors are involved in hESC self renewal. Since hESC lines have the potential to differentiate into cells of all three germ layers, cells derived from hESC may be useful for the treatment of a variety of inherited or acquired diseases. The molecular signal required to differentiate hESC into a particular cell type has not been defined. It is expected that global gene expression profiling of hESC may provide an insight into the critical genes involved in maintaining pluripotency of hESC and genes that are modulated when hESCs differentiate. Several groups have utilized a variety of high throughput techniques and performed gene expression profiling of undifferentiated hESCs and mouse ES cells (mESC) to identify a set of genes uniquely expressed in ES cells but not in mature cells and defined them as "stemness" genes. These molecular techniques include DNA microarray, EST-enumeration, MPSS profiling, and SAGE. Irrespective of the molecular technique used, highly expressed genes showed similar expression pattern in several ES cell lines supporting their importance. A set of approximately 100 genes were identified, which are highly expressed in ES cells and considered to be involved in maintaining pluripotency and self renewal of ES cells. Various studies have also reported on the gene expression profiling of differentiated embryoid bodies (EB) derived from hESCs and mESCs. When hESCs are differentiated, "stemness" genes are down-regulated and a set of genes are up-regulated. Together with down-modulation of "stemness" genes and up-regulation of new genes may provide a new insight into the molecular pathways of hESC differentiation and study of these genes may be useful in the characterization of differentiated cells.
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ABSTRACT: Self-proliferation and differentiation into distinct cell types have been made stem cell as a promising target for regenerative medicine. Several key genes can regulate self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (hESCs). They work together and build a transcriptional hierarchy. Coexpression and coregulation of genes control by common regulatory elements on the promoter regions. Consequently, distinct organization and combination of transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs modules) on promoter regions, in view of order and distance, leads to a common specific expression pattern within a set of genes. To gain insights into transcriptional regulation of hESCs, we selected promoter regions of eleven common expressed hESC genes including SOX2, LIN28, STAT3, NANOG, LEFTB, TDGF1, POU5F1, FOXD3, TERF1, REX1 and GDF3 to predict activating regulatory modules on promoters and discover key corresponding transcription factors. Then, promoter regions in human genome were explored for modules and 328 genes containing the same modules were detected. Using microarray data, we verified that 102 of 328 genes commonly upregulate in hESCs. Also, using output data of DNA-Protein interaction assays, we found that 42 of all predicted genes are targets of SOX2, NANOG and POU5F1 . Additionally, a protein interaction network of hESC genes was constructed based on biological processes and interestingly, 126 downregulated genes along with upregulated ones identified by promoter analysis were predicted in the network. Based on the results, we suggest that the identified genes, coregulating with common hESC genes, represent a novel approach for gene discovery based on whole genome promoter analysis irrespective of gene expression. Altogether, promoter profiling can be used to expand hESC transcriptional regulatory circuitry by analysis of shared functional sequences between genes. This approach provides a clear image on underlying regulatory mechanism of gene expression profile and offers a novel approach in designing gene networks of stem cell.Gene 09/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2013.09.011 · 2.20 Impact Factor