The self-renewal capacity of germline derived stem cells (GSCs) makes them an ideal source for research and use in clinics. Despite the presence of active gene network similarities between embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and GSCs, there are unanswered questions regarding the roles of evolutionary conserved genes in GSCs. To determine the reprogramming potential of germ cell- specific genes, we designed a polycistronic gene cassette expressing Stella, Oct4 and Nanos2 in a lentiviral-based vector. Deep transcriptome analysis showed the activation of a set of pluripotency and germ-cell-specific markers and the downregulation of innate immune system. The global shut down of antiviral genes included MHC class I, interferon response genes and dsRNA 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase are critical pathways that has been affected. Individual expression of each factor highlighted suppressive effect of Nanos2 on genes such as Isg15 and Oasl2. Collectively, to our knowledge this is the first report showing that Nanos2 could be considered as an immunosuppressive factor. Furthermore, our results demonstrate suppression of endogenous retrotransposons that harbor immune response but further analysis require to uncover the correlation between transposon suppression and immune response in germ cell development.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Farshchian, M., Matin, M.M. (Maryam M.), Armant, O., Geerts, D., Dastpak, M. (Mahtab), Nakhaei-Rad, S. (Saeideh), … Bahrami, A.R. (Ahmad Reza). (2018). Suppression of dsRNA response genes and innate immunity following Oct4, Stella, and Nanos2 overexpression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Cytokine, 106, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.cyto.2018.02.021