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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A April 30, 2002; 99 (9): 6059-63.

From intestine to muscle: nuclear reprogramming through defective cloned embryos.

Byrne JA , Simonsson S , Gurdon JB .

Nuclear transplantation is one of the very few ways by which the genetic content and capacity for nuclear reprogramming can be assessed in individual cells of differentiated somatic tissues. No more than 6% of the cells of differentiated tissues have thus far been shown to have nuclei that can be reprogrammed to elicit the formation of unrelated cell types. In Amphibia, about 25% of such nuclear transfers form morphologically abnormal partial blastulae that die within 24 h. We have investigated the genetic content and capacity for reprogramming of those nuclei that generate partial blastulae, using as donors the intestinal epithelium cells of feeding Xenopus larvae. We have analyzed single nuclear transplant embryos obtained directly from intestinal tissue, thereby avoiding any genetic or epigenetic changes that might accumulate during cell culture. The expression of the intestine-specific gene intestinal fatty acid binding protein is extinguished by at least 10(4) times, within a few hours of nuclear transplantation. At the same time several genes that are normally expressed only in early embryos are very strongly activated in nuclear transplant embryos, but to an unregulated extent. Remarkably, cells from intestine-derived partial blastulae, when grafted to normal host embryos, contribute to several host tissues and participate in the normal 100-fold increase in axial muscle over several months. Thus, cells of defective cloned embryos unable to survive for more than 1 day can be reprogrammed to participate in new directions of differentiation and to maintain indefinite growth, despite the abnormal expression of early genes.

PubMed ID: 11972029
PMC ID: PMC122901
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dnmt1 fabp2 gsc tbxt vegt
Antibodies: Somite Ab1

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References [+] :
Blau, Plasticity of the differentiated state. 1985, Pubmed