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Transcriptional heterogeneity within embryonic stem cell (ESC) populations has been suggested as a mechanism by which a seemingly homogeneous cell population can initiate differentiation into an array of different cell types. Chromatin remodeling proteins have been shown to control transcriptional variability in yeast and to be important for mammalian ESC(More)
Mammalian imprinted genes often cluster with long noncoding (lnc) RNAs. Three lncRNAs that induce parental-specific silencing show hallmarks indicating that their transcription is more important than their product. To test whether Airn transcription or product silences the Igf2r gene, we shortened the endogenous lncRNA to different lengths. The results(More)
The Airn macro ncRNA is the master regulator of imprinted expression in the Igf2r imprinted gene cluster where it silences three flanking genes in cis. Airn transcription shows unusual features normally viewed as promoter specific, such as impaired post-transcriptional processing and a macro size. The Airn transcript is 108 kb long, predominantly unspliced(More)
Embryonic Stem (ES) cells are able to give rise to the three germ layers of the embryo but are prevented from contributing to the trophoblast. The molecular nature of this barrier between embryonic and trophectodermal cell fates is not clear, but is known to involve DNA methylation. Here we demonstrate that the Nucleosome Remodeling and Deacetylation (NuRD)(More)
Esrrb (oestrogen-related receptor beta) is a transcription factor implicated in embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal, yet its knockout causes intrauterine lethality due to defects in trophoblast development. Here we show that in trophoblast stem (TS) cells, Esrrb is a downstream target of fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signalling and is critical to drive(More)
Embryonic stem (ES) cells are in a dynamic equilibrium of distinct functional states, characterized by the heterogeneous expression of critical pluripotency factors and regulated by a spectrum of reversible histone modifications. Maintenance of this equilibrium is a hallmark of pluripotency. Here we find that the ADP-ribosyltransferases Parp1 and Parp7 play(More)
A CpG island (CGI) lies at the 5' end of the Airn macro non-protein-coding (nc) RNA that represses the flanking Igf2r promoter in cis on paternally inherited chromosomes. In addition to being modified on maternally inherited chromosomes by a DNA methylation imprint, the Airn CGI shows two unusual organization features: its position immediately downstream of(More)
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