Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.480, No.4, 635-640, 2016
Pluripotency induction in HEK293T cells by concurrent expression of STELLA, OCT4 and NANOS2
Germline stem cells (GSCs) are attractive biological models because of their strict control on pluripotency gene expression, and their potential for huge epigenetic changes in a short period of time. Few data exists on the cooperative impact of GSC-specific genes on differentiated cells. In this study, we over-expressed 3 GSC-specific markers, STELLA, OCT4 and NANOS2, collectively designated as (SON), using the novel polycistronic lentiviral gene construct FUM-FD, in HEK293T cells and evaluated promoter activity of the Stra8 GSC marker gene We could show that HEK293T cells expressed pluripotency and GSC markers following ectopic expression of the SON genes. We also found induction of pluripotency markers after serum starvation in non-transduced HEK293T cells. Expression profiling of SON-expressing and serum starved cells at mRNA and protein level showed the potential of SON factors and serum starvation in the induction of ESRRB, NANOG, OCT4 and REX1 expression. Additionally, the data indicated that the mouse Stra8 promoter could only be activated in a subpopulation of HEK293T cells, regardless of SON gene expression. We conclude that heterogeneous population of the HEK293T cells might be easily shifted towards expression of the pluripotency markers by ectopic expression of the SON factors or by growth in serum depleted media. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc.