The protein linkurl:Nanog,; long considered essential to maintaining pluripotency and promoting differentiation in embryonic stem cells, may play a lesser role in those processes, according to a study published this week in Nature. "The previous paradigm was that Nanog was infinitely coupled to differentiation," Ian Chambers of the University of Edinburgh, lead author of the study, told The Scientist. This new work has shown, Chambers continued, that embryonic stem cells that express no Nanog can still self-renew and differentiate. While previous research has shown that early-stage embryos can't survive without Nanog, the level of protein expression required was linkurl:unknown.; Chambers' group examined expression levels of Nanog in the nuclei of undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells, and found that the expression, in fact, fluctuates in undifferentiated stem cells. Further, they showed that self-renewal was not tied to Nanog expression, since it is maintained even in Nanog knock-out cells, though...
The Scientist

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