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Nr0b1 is a negative regulator of Zscan4c in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Authors: Setsuko S. Fujii, Satomi S. Nishikawa-Torikai, Yoko Y. Futatsugi, Yayoi Y. Toyooka, Mariko M. Yamane, Satoshi S. Ohtsuka, Hitoshi H. Niwa
Published: 03/16/2015, Scientific reports


Nuclear receptor subfamily 0, group B, member 1 (Nr0b1, also known as Dax1) is regarded as an important component of the transcription factor network that governs pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Here we generated inducible knockout ES cells for Nr0b1 using the Cre-loxP system and analyzed its precise function. We succeeded in establishing the Nr0b1-null ES cells and confirmed their pluripotency by showing their contribution to chimeric embryos. However, they proliferated slowly with over-expression of 2-cell stage specific transcripts including Zscan4c, which is known to be involved in telomere elongation in ES cells. We revealed that over-expression of Zscan4c prevents normal self-renewal by inducing arrest at G2 phase followed by cell death and that Nr0b1 directly represses the Zscan4c promoter. These data indicated that Nr0b1 is not essential to maintain pluripotency but is involved in the proper activation of 2-cell specific transcripts for self-renewal.

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