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Cerulo L.,Istituto di Ricerche Genetiche Gaetano Salvatore Biogem Scarl | Cerulo L.,University of Sannio | Tagliaferri D.,Istituto di Ricerche Genetiche Gaetano Salvatore Biogem Scarl | Tagliaferri D.,University of Sannio | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Embryonic Stem cells (ESCs) can be differentiated into ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm derivatives, producing the majority of cell types. In regular culture conditions, ESCs' self-renewal is maintained through molecules that inhibit spontaneous differentiation enabling long-term cellular expansion. This undifferentiating condition is characterized by multiple metastable states that fluctuate between self-renewal and differentiation balance. Here, we aim to characterize the high-pluripotent ESC metastate marked by the expression of Zscan4 through a supervised machine learning framework based on an ensemble of support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. Our study revealed a leukaemia inhibitor factor (Lif) dependent not-canonical pluripotency signature (AF067063, BC061212, Dub1, Eif1a, Gm12794, Gm13871, Gm4340, Gm4850, Tcstv1/3, and Zfp352), that specifically marks Zscan4 ESCs' fluctuation. This novel ESC metastate is enhanced by highpluripotency culture conditions obtained through Extracellular signal Regulated-Kinase (ERK) and Glycogen synthase kinase- 3 (Gsk-3) signaling inhibition (2i). Significantly, we reported that the conditional ablation of the novel ESC metastate marked by the expression of Gm12794 is required for ESCs self-renewal maintenance. In conclusion, we extend the comprehension of ESCs biology through the identification of a novel molecular signature associated to pluripotency programming. Copyright: © 2014 Cerulo et al.

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