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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

LIGHT induces differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells associated with activation of ERK5.

LT-related inducible ligand that competes for glycoprotein D binding to herpesvirus entry mediator on T cells (LIGHT) is a recently cloned type II transmembrane protein belonging to the TNF family that was originally identified as a weak inducer of apoptosis. This cytokine has been extensively defined in its role on T-cell regulation and dendritic cell maturation. However, whether this cytokine regulates stem cell proliferation and/or differentiation remains unknown. In this study, we transduced exogenous LIGHT into embryonic stem cells (ES cells) and found it induced their differentiation. The expression of phospho-STAT3, Nanog and Oct-4 was reduced in LIGHT-transduced ES cells compared with wild-type ES cells. LIGHT-transduced ES cells exhibit a low level of SSEA-1 surface antigen and alkaline phosphatase staining compared with wild-type cells. Introduction of LIGHT into ES cells results in the dephosphorylation of MKP-3 and activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)5. When ERK5 was inhibited by the specific inhibitor PD184352 or knocked down by ERK5 siRNA, reduction of Oct-4 and SSEA-1 expression was rescued. We conclude that LIGHT overrides Leukemia inhibitory factor to induce ES cell differentiation associated with activation of ERK5.[1]


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