Standardbilder: MDC Laborkittel

Jichang Wang

Helmholtz Postdoc Programme

LBP9 as a key regulator of pluripotency in humans

Mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have several divergent properties, representing the ground state and advanced developmental state (called also primed state) of pluripotency, respectively. Why human ESCs are so different from mouse ESCs, when both cell types are derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) within the blastocyst? Our recent study indicates that the species-specific regulation of pluripotency is the key (Wang, et al, Nature, 2014). Pluripotency in human is rewired by an endogenous retrovirus (HERVH) based regulatory circuitry. The key switch to this regulation is a transcription factor, LBP9, involved generally in pluripotency, but implicated in host defense only in primates.

In this project, I will address how LBP9 functions during human early development, especially in the ground state of human pluripotency, using ICM- like hESCs as a model and various systems biological approaches. The basic knowledge would be translated with a premise for regenerative medicine.