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Accession IconGSE13408

Cell cycle exit and terminal differentiation independent of the Rb gene family during embryonic development

Organism Icon Mus musculus
Sample Icon 13 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Array (mouse4302)

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The retinoblastoma cell cycle regulator pRb and the two related proteins p107 and p130 are thought to suppress cancer development both by inhibiting the G1/S transition of the cell cycle in response to growth-arrest signals and by promoting cellular differentiation. Here, we investigated the phenotype of Rb family triple knock-out (TKO) embryonic stem cells as they differentiate in vivo and in culture. Confirming the central role of the Rb gene family in cell cycle progression, TKO mouse embryos did not survive past mid-gestation and differentiating TKO cells displayed increased proliferation and cell death. However, patterning and cell fate determination were largely unaffected in these TKO embryos. Furthermore, a number of TKO cells, including in the neural lineage, were able to exit the cell cycle in G1 and terminally differentiate. This ability of Rb family TKO cells to undergo cell cycle arrest was associated with the repression of target genes for the E2F6 transcription factor, uncovering a pRb-independent control of the G1/S transition of the cell cycle. These results show that the Rb gene family is required for proper embryonic development but is not absolutely essential to induce G1 arrest and differentiation in certain lineages.
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