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Open Access ERas Is Expressed in Primate Embryonic Stem Cells But Not Related to Tumorigenesis

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The ERas gene promotes the proliferation of and formation of teratomas by mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. However, its human orthologue is not expressed in human ES cells. This implies that the behavior of transplanted mouse ES cells would not accurately reflect the behavior of transplanted human ES cells and that the use of nonhuman primate models might be more appropriate to demonstrate the safety of human ES cell-based therapies. However, the expression of the ERas gene has not been examined in nonhuman primate ES cells. In this study, we cloned the cynomolgus homologue and showed that the ERas gene is expressed in cynomolgus ES cells. Notably, it is also expressed in cynomolgus ES cell-derived differentiated progeny as well as cynomolgus adult tissues. The ERas protein is detectable in various cynomolgus tissues as assessed by immunohistochemisty. Cynomolgus ES cell-derived teratoma cells, which also expressed the ERas gene at higher levels than the undifferentiated cynomolgus ES cells, did not develop tumors in NOD/Shi-scid, IL-2Rnull (NOG) mice. Even when the ERas gene was overexpressed in cynomolgus stromal cells, only the plating efficiency was improved and the proliferation was not promoted. Thus, it is unlikely that ERas contributes to the tumorigenicity of cynomolgus cells. Therefore, cynomolgus ES cells are more similar to human than mouse ES cells despite that ERas is expressed in cynomolgus and mouse ES cells but not in human ES cells.

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Keywords: Cynomolgus monkey; ERas; Embryonic stem cell; Tumorigenesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Regenerative Medicine, Center for Molecular Medicine, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan; Department of Pediatric Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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