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Role of ERas in promoting tumour-like properties in mouse embryonic stem cells.

Nature | May 29, 2003

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12774123

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells derived from early mammalian embryos. Their immortality and rapid growth make them attractive sources for stem cell therapies; however, they produce tumours (teratomas) when transplanted, which could preclude their therapeutic usage. Why ES cells, which lack chromosomal abnormalities, possess tumour-like properties is largely unknown. Here we show that mouse ES cells specifically express a Ras-like gene, which we have named ERas. We show that human HRasp, which is a recognized pseudogene, does not contain reported base substitutions and instead encodes the human orthologue of ERas. This protein contains amino-acid residues identical to those present in active mutants of Ras and causes oncogenic transformation in NIH 3T3 cells. ERas interacts with phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase but not with Raf. ERas-null ES cells maintain pluripotency but show significantly reduced growth and tumorigenicity, which are rescued by expression of ERas complementary DNA or by activated phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase. We conclude that the transforming oncogene ERas is important in the tumour-like growth properties of ES cells.

Pubmed ID: 12774123 RIS Download

Mesh terms: 3T3 Cells | Amino Acid Sequence | Animals | Cell Division | Cell Transformation, Neoplastic | Cloning, Molecular | Embryo, Mammalian | Genes, ras | Guanosine Diphosphate | Guanosine Triphosphate | Mice | Molecular Sequence Data | Neoplasms | Oncogene Protein p21(ras) | Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases | Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf | Pseudogenes | Stem Cells

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