Screenshot (363)

“Selective de-repression of germ cell-specific genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a permissive epigenetic environment.”

Professor Yasuhisa Matsui of IDAC’s Cell Resource Center and the research group of graduate student Seki Nakaho developed a new cell culture method to understand epigenetic mechanisms that underlie germ cell characteristics.
To accomplish this, we attempted to use defined epigenetic factors to directly convert mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into germ cells. Here, we successfully induced germ cell-specific genes by inhibiting repressive epigenetic modifications via RNAi or small-molecule compounds.
These results suggested that a permissive epigenetic environment resulted in selective de-repression of stimulus and differentiation-inducible genes including germ cell-specific genes in MEFs. This study was also done in collaboration with Keio University.

Screenshot (391)

The method for alteration of a gene expression profile of MEFs towards that of germ cells in culture (above).
We have succeeded in altering a gene expression profile of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to that of germ cells in culture by addition of small-molecule compounds inhibiting repressive histone modifications and by inhibition of Dnmt1 expression by RNAi. Red: germ cell maker (Dazl), Blue: nucleus maker (DAPI). Sekinaka,T., Hayashi, Y., Noce, T., Niwa, H., Matsui, Y. Selective de-repression of germ cell-specific genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts in a permissive epigenetic environment. Scientific Reports 6:32932 (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep32932.

Publication

Yasuhisa Matsui
Professor, IDAC
Aging Cell Resource Center