Updated on 14 March 2013
Co-lead author Dr Prasanna Kolatkar said, "Our previous work described how re-engineering of developmental proteins through a single site change results in functions of proteins Sox2 and Sox17 becoming inter-converted - thus the decision to stay as a stem cell or differentiate is flipped through a single amino acid change. This study uses a genome-wide approach to validate this concept, and moreover leads to novel genes potentially involved in primitive endoderm formation."
"This work identified a novel regulatory switch from pluripotency to cell-lineage specific differentiation. It is remarkable that a single pluripotency factor, Oct4, was found to influence diverse cellular processes. This key discovery illustrates the complexity in the regulation of pluripotency programme in embryonic stem cells," said GIS Executive Director Prof Ng Huck Hui.