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Identification and functional characterization of an alternative splice variant within the fourth exon of human nanog.

Kim J.S., Kim J., Kim B.S., Chung H.Y., Lee Y.Y., Park C.-S., Lee Y.S., Lee Y.H., Chung I.Y.

Nanog, a homeodomain (HD) transcription factor, plays a critical role in the maintenance of embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal. Here, we report the identification of an alternatively-spliced variant of nanog. This variant lacked a stretch of amino acids (residues 168-183) located between the HD and tryptophan-repeat (WR) of the previously-reported full length sequence, suggesting that the deleted sequence functions as a linker and possibly affects the flexibility of the C-terminal transactivation domain relative to the DNA binding domain. Expression of mRNA encoding the splice variant, designated as nanog-delta 48, was much lower than that of the full length version in human ES cells. The ratio of nanog-delta 48 transcript to full length transcript increased, however, in multipotent adult progenitor cells. EMSA analysis revealed that both forms of Nanog were able to bind a nanog binding sequence with roughly the same affinity. A reporter plasmid assay also showed that both variants of nanog modestly repressed transactivation of gata-4, whose expression is proposed to be inhibited by nanog, with comparable potency. We conclude that, despite the difference in primary structure and expression pattern in various stem cells, the alternatively-spliced variant of Nanog has similar activity to that of the full length version.

Exp. Mol. Med. 37:601-607(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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