Announcement: Talk by Dr. Fuchou Tang

Presenter:Dr. Fuchou Tang
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge

Time: 14:00, January 18th, 2010
Location: Rm. 411, College of Life Sciences

Title: Tracing the derivation of embryonic stem cells from the inner cell mass by single-cell RNA-Seq analysis.
Brief Introduction
A key question in embryonic stem cell (ESC) research is how the embryonic cells convert into stem cells during in vitro culture. During the transition from the inner cell mass (ICM) cells of blastocysts to pluripotent ESCs in vitro, a normal developmental program is replaced in cells that acquire a capacity for infinite self-renewal and pluripotency. We explored the underlying mechanism of this switch by using RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis at the resolution of single cells. And we detected significant molecular transitions and major changes in transcript variants, which include genes for general metabolism. Furthermore, the expression of repressive epigenetic regulators increased with a concomitant decrease in gene activators that might be necessary to sustain the inherent plasticity of ESCs. Moreover, we detected changes in microRNAs (miRNAs), with one set that targets early differentiation genes while another set targets pluripotency genes to maintain the unique ESC epigenotype. Such genetic and epigenetic events may contribute to a switch from a normal developmental program in adult cells during the formation of diseased tissues, including cancers.