CrxOS maintains the self-renewal capacity of murine embryonic stem cells

Ryota Saito, Tokiwa Yamasaki, Yoko Nagai, Jinzhan Wu, Hiroaki Kajiho, Tadashi Yokoi, Eiichiro Noda, Sachiko Nishina, Hitoshi Niwa, Noriyuki Azuma, Toshiaki Katada, Hiroshi Nishina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Embryonic stem (ES) cells maintain pluripotency by self-renewal. Several homeoproteins, including Oct3/4 and Nanog, are known to be key factors in maintaining the self-renewal capacity of ES cells. However, other genes required for the mechanisms underlying this process are still unclear. Here we report the identification by in silico analysis of a homeobox-containing gene, CrxOS, that is specifically expressed in murine ES cells and is essential for their self-renewal. ES cells mainly express the short isoform of endogenous CrxOS. Using a polyoma-based episomal expression system, we demonstrate that overexpression of the CrxOS short isoform is sufficient for maintaining the undifferentiated morphology of ES cells and stimulating their proliferation. Finally, using RNA interference, we show that CrxOS is essential for the self-renewal of ES cells, and provisionally identify foxD3 as a downstream target gene of CrxOS. To our knowledge, ours is the first delineation of the physiological role of CrxOS in ES cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1135
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 25
Externally publishedYes


  • CrxOS
  • Embryonic stem cell
  • Homeoprotein
  • In silico
  • Self-renewal
  • foxD3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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