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Twin copies of gene pair up in embryonic stem cells at critical moment in differentiation

Both copies of the Oct4 gene physically come together just as begin to develop into tissue-specific

Gene Copies, Pairing up in Stem Cells
We and other mammals have two copies of each gene, and each copy, or ‘allele,’ was thought to remain physically apart from the other in the . ’s team now finds that the of a specific gene, Oct4, can and do pair up in mammalian cells. (Oct4 gene are labeled in green; other DNA is stained blue; cell nuclei are outlined in red). The Oct4 were observed to pair up just as embryonic stem cells differentiated into specific cell types.
Credit: Spector Lab, CSHL


This work was supported by The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and by the Starr Foundation.

Transient Pairing of Homologous Oct4 Alleles Accompanies the Onset of Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation” appears online in Cell Stem Cell on March 5, 2015. The authors are: Megan S. Hogan, David-Emlyn Parfitt, Cinthya J. Zepeda-Mendoza, Michael M. Shen, and David L. Spector. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2015.02.001

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory