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Home > Organization > Divisions and Independent Research Units > Group for Translational Research > Division of Molecular and Cellular Medicine > Research Projects > Rat embryonic stem cells for cancer biology

Rat embryonic stem cells for cancer biology

Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) possess pluripotency and can give rise to all lineage cells. Notably, it is useful for the preparation of transgenic animal models that recapitulate human disease. Rats, as well as mice, are widely used animal models in cancer research. So far we have established rat ES cells and produced rat models by knocking down cancer-related genes. Using specific culture condition, our rat ES cells were maintained at immature state, as cloned rat ES cells expressed ES specific marker genes such as Nanog, Oct4 and SSEA. Like mouse and human ES cells, our rat ES cells can form embryoid bodies and display differentiation potential into cells of all three germ layers. Moreover/In addition, we have developed p53 knockout (KO) rats from established ES cells, and performed functional and phenotypic analysis of the KO rats. The analysis indicated that rat p53 is involved in maintaining genome stability and demonstrated the function of p53 as a protective factor during embryogenesis. When transgenic rat models in cancer biology are available, it will be highly possible to advance the treatment strategy of human tumor more effectively, and can be a promising experimental system for understanding cancer behavior and its cell-of-origin.



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