Editors' ChoicePluripotency

Pluripotency factor opens chromatin

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Science  27 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6289, pp. 1072-1073
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6289.1072-b

All cells in an organism share the same genome. Differences in form and function arise from cells varying the specific genes they express. Temporal and spatial cues trigger changes in chromatin condensation: An open arrangement supports, whereas a closed conformation blocks, gene expression. Lopes Novo et al. report a chromatin-opening role for the pluripotency transcription factor NANOG, even in typically condensed areas of the genome, such as repetitive sequences. To do this, NANOG works with the SALL1, a protein associated with condensed chromatin. When embryonic stem cells differentiate, they compact their chromatin and simultaneously reduce NANOG expression. This work highlights how pluripotent cells link their pluripotency network with chromatin organization.

Genes Dev. 30, 1101 (2016).

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