Transcriptional profiling of rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells

James A. Byrne, Shoukhrat M. Mitalipov, Lisa Clepper, Don P. Wolf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations


    Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) may be able to cure or alleviate the symptoms of various degenerative diseases. However, unresolved issues regarding survival, functionality, and tumor formation mean a prudent approach should be adopted towards advancing ESCs into human clinical trials. The rhesus monkey provides an ideal model organism for developing strategies to prevent immune rejection and test the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of ESC-based medical treatments. Transcriptional profiling of rhesus monkey ESCs provides a foundation for preclinical ESC research in this species. In the present study, we used microarray technology, immunocytochemistry, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to characterize and transcriptionally profile rhesus monkey ESCs. We identified 367 stemness gene candidates that were highly (>85%) conserved across five different ESC lines. Rhesus monkey ESC lines maintained a pluripotent undifferentiated state over a wide range of POU5F1 (also known as OCT4) expression levels, and comparisons between rhesus monkey, mouse, and human stemness genes revealed five mammalian stemness genes: CCNB1, GDF3, LEFTB, POU5F1, and NANOG. These five mammalian genes are strongly expressed in rhesus monkey, mouse, and human ESCs, albeit only in the undifferentiated state, and represent the core key mammalian stemness factors.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)908-915
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiology of reproduction
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Dec 2006


    • Embryo
    • Gene regulation
    • Microarray
    • Rhesus
    • Stem cells

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Reproductive Medicine
    • Cell Biology


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