Mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells can be maintained in undifferentiated state in the presence of a cytokine, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Many investigators found that STAT3 activation is important for the maintenance of pluripotency by LIF. However, the downstream pathways of STAT3 activation are still unknown. To look for STAT3-downstream target genes, we performed DD-RT PCR in the presence or absence of LIF. Through further confirmation, we finally selected 8 genes whose expressions were significantly dependent upon the presence of LIF. Among them, Jmjd1a was down-regulated after LIF withdrawal, and it was selected for further investigation. Its expression started to decrease 1 day after the removal of LIF, and disappeared on day 3. It was also shown that STAT3 could bind to the promoter region of Jmjd1a gene. These data demonstrate that Jmjd1a might be a critical signaling molecule underlying the maintenance of pluripotency in mES cells.
2006 by Japan Society for Cell Biology