Characterizing genetic control of the 2C state in pluripotent stem cells


Elizabeth Ruark

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2019, The Jackson Laboratory


As embryonic development progresses, cell fate is often thought to be unidirectional, progressing from a totipotent state, through pluripotency and into a formative state that is primed to differentiate. However, under certain culture conditions, mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) differentiated to what is thought to be in a formative state of early differentiation were found to exhibit gene expression programs similar to that of the earlier totipoteut state. Furthernore, this gene expression program was dependent on genetic background. Here we set out to use the power of mouse genetics to detennine the regulatory systems controlling this unexpected cell fate. We validated that there were significru1t differences between C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2) (D2) for expression of the transcription factor Dux and retroviral element MervL We also developed an assay to measure the percent of 2C cells. Finally, a BXD panel was used to try and map genes controlling these cell fate transitions. Using FLOW and qRT-PCR data, we were unable to associate any genomic loci with the differences observed in the parental strains.

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