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Ben-Yehudah A.,University of Pittsburgh | Navara C.S.,University of Pittsburgh | Redinger C.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Mich-Basso J.D.,University of Pittsburgh | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2010

While human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are predisposed toward chromosomal aneploidities on 12, 17, 20, and X, rendering them susceptible to transformation, the specific genes expressed are not yet known. Here, by identifying the genes overexpressed in pluripotent rhesus ESCs (nhpESCs) and comparing them both to their genetically identical differentiated progeny (teratoma fibroblasts) and to genetically related differentiated parental cells (parental skin fibroblasts from whom gametes were used for ESC derivation), we find that some of those overexpressed genes in nhpESCs cluster preferentially on rhesus chromosomes 16, 19, 20, and X, homologues of human chromosomes 17, 19, 16, and X, respectively. Differentiated parental skin fibroblasts display gene expression profiles closer to nhpESC profiles than to teratoma cells, which are genetically identical to the pluripotent nhpESCs. Twenty over- and underexpressed pluripotency modulators, some implicated in neurogenesis, have been identified. The overexpression of some of these genes discovered using pedigreed nhpESCs derived from prime embryos generated by fertile primates, which is impossible to perform with the anonymously donated clinically discarded embryos from which hESCs are derived, independently confirms the importance of chromosome 17 and X regions in pluripotency and suggests specific candidates for targeting differentiation and transformation decisions. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bais A.S.,Dorothy d Richard mmons Center For Interstitial Lung Disease | Kaminski N.,Dorothy d Richard mmons Center For Interstitial Lung Disease | Benos P.V.,Dorothy d Richard mmons Center For Interstitial Lung Disease | Benos P.V.,University of Pittsburgh
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

DNA sequences bound by a transcription factor (TF) are presumed to contain sequence elements that reflect its DNA binding preferences and its downstream-regulatory effects. Experimentally identified TF binding sites (TFBSs) are usually similar enough to be summarized by a 'consensus' motif, representative of the TF DNA binding specificity. Studies have shown that groups of nucleotide TFBS variants (subtypes) can contribute to distinct modes of downstream regulation by the TF via differential recruitment of cofactors. A TFA may bind to TFBS subtypes a1 or a2 depending on whether it associates with cofactors TFB or TFC, respectively. While some approaches can discover motif pairs (dyads), none address the problem of identifying 'variants' of dyads. TFs are key components of multiple regulatory pathways targeting different sets of genes perhaps with different binding preferences. Identifying the discriminating TF-DNA associations that lead to the differential downstream regulation is thus essential. We present DiSCo (Discovery of Subtypes and Cofactors), a novel approach for identifying variants of dyad motifs (and their respective target sequence sets) that are instrumental for differential downstream regulation. Using both simulated and experimental datasets, we demonstrate how current motif discovery can be successfully leveraged to address this question. © 2011 The Author(s).

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