Regulation of the Nanog gene by both positive and negative cis-regulatory elements in embryonal carcinoma cells and embryonic stem cells

Brian Boer, Jesse L. Cox, David Claassen, Sunil Kumar Mallanna, Michelle Desler, Angie Rizzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The transcription factor Nanog is essential for mammalian embryogenesis, as well as the pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells. Work with ES cells and embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells previously identified positive and negative cis-regulatory elements that influence the activity of the Nanog promoter, including adjacent cis-regulatory elements that bind Sox2 and Oct-3/4. Given the importance of Nanog during mammalian development, we examined the cis-regulatory elements required for Nanog promoter activity more closely. In this study, we demonstrate that two positive cis-regulatory elements previously shown to be active in F9 EC cells are also active in ES cells. We also identify a novel negative regulatory region that is located in close proximity to two other positive Nanog cis-regulatory elements. Although this negative regulatory region is active in F9 EC cells and ES cells, it is inactive in P19 EC cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that one of the positive cis-regulatory elements active in F9 EC cells and ES cells is inactive in P19 EC cells. Together, these and other studies suggest that Nanog transcription is regulated by the interplay of positive and negative cis-regulatory elements. Given that P19 appears to be more closely related to a later developmental stage of mammalian development than F9 and ES cells, differential utilization of cis-regulatory elements may reflect mechanisms used during development to achieve the correct level of Nanog expression as embryogenesis unfolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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