Brief Communications Arising | Published:

Is REST required for ESC pluripotency?

Nature volume 457, pages E4E5 (26 February 2009) | Download Citation


Arising from: S. K. Singh, M. N. Kagalwala, J. Parker-Thornburg, H. Adams & S. Majumder Nature 453, 223–227 (2008)10.1038/nature06863; Singh et al. reply

The DNA-binding protein REST (also called NRSF) is a transcriptional repressor that targets many neuronal genes1,2 and is abundant in human and mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs)3,4,5. In a recent Letter to Nature, Singh et al.6 suggested that REST controls the self-renewal and pluripotency of ESCs, because they found that ESCs in which a single REST allele was disrupted (Fig. 1a, β-geo-stop insertion) had reduced alkaline phosphatase activity and expressed lower levels of several pluripotency-associated genes6. Here we show that partial or complete loss of functional REST protein does not abrogate ESC potential as reflected by marker gene expression. These data are consistent with earlier reports7,8, and argue that REST is not required for maintaining ESC pluripotency.

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  1. *Lymphocyte Development Group, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London, W12 0NN, UK.

    • Helle F. Jørgensen
    • , Matthias Merkenschlager
    •  & Amanda G. Fisher
  2. †Departments of Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine Pain Center, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110, USA

    • Zhou-Feng Chen


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