Homeobox protein NANOG

A transcription factor critically involved with self-renewal of undifferentiated embryonic stem cells.

This protein is encoded by the NANOG gene.

Human NANOG protein is a 305 amino acid protein localized to the nuclear component of cells.

Its homeodomain region facilitates DNA binding.

NANOG is a transcription factor in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and is thought to be a key factor in maintaining pluripotency.

NANOG is thought to function in concert with other factors such as POU5F1 (Oct-4) and SOX2 to establish embryonic stem cell identity.

The NANOG protein is a transcriptional activator for the Rex1 promoter, playing a key role in sustaining Rex1 expression.

Knockdown of NANOG in embryonic stem cells results in a reduction of Rex1 expression, while forced expression of NANOG stimulates Rex1 expression.

NANOG overexpression in human embryonic stem cells enables their propagation for multiple passages and pluripotency.

Gene knockdown of Nanog promotes differentiation.

p53 can thus induce differentiation of embryonic stem cells into other cell types which undergo efficient p53-dependent cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Nanog transforms NIH3T3 cells.

NANOG is expressed in germ cells of the fetus and in some germ cell tumors of the gonads and central nervous system (CNS).

Among tumors usually found in the CNS, NANOG is expressed by germinoma, but not by pineoblastoma, lymphoma, pituitary adenoma and gliomas.

NANOG could may help cancer stem cells in several types of solid tumors such as colorectal cancer

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