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Xist Intron 1 Repression by TALE Transcriptional Factor Improves Somatic Cell Reprogamming in Mice

By Jindun Zhang, Xuefei Gao, Jian Yang, Xiaoying Fan, Wei Wang, Yanfeng Liang, Lihong Fan, Hongmei Han, Xiaorong Xu, Fuchou Tang, Siqin Bao, Pentao Liu, Xihe Li

Posted 02 Feb 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/259234 (published DOI: 10.1002/stem.2928)

Xist is the master regulator of X chromosome inactivation (XCI). In order to further understand the Xist locus in reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), we tested transcription-factor-like effectors (TALE)-based designer transcriptional factors (dTFs), which were specific to numerous regions at the Xist locus. We report that the selected dTF repressor 6 (R6) binding the intron 1 of Xist, which did not affect Xist expression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), substantially improved the iPSC generation and the SCNT preimplantation embryo development. Conversely, the dTF activator targeting the same genomic region of R6 decreased iPSC formation, and blocked SCNT-embryo development. These results thus uncover the critical requirement for the Xist locus in epigenetic resetting, which is not directly related to Xist transcription. This may provide a unique route to improving the reprogramming.

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