• Embryonic stem cells;
  • Coactivator;
  • Gene expression;
  • Pluripotent stem cells;
  • Transcription factors


p/CIP, also known as steroid receptor coactivator 3 (SRC-3)/Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 3 (NCoA3), is a transcriptional coactivator that binds liganded nuclear hormone receptors, as well as other transcription factors, and facilitates transcription through direct recruitment of accessory factors. We have found that p/CIP is highly expressed in undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and is downregulated during differentiation. siRNA-mediated knockdown of p/CIP decreased transcript levels of Nanog, but not Oct4 or Sox2. Microarray expression analysis showed that Klf4, Tbx3, and Dax-1 are significantly downregulated in mESCs when p/CIP is knocked down. Subsequent chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis demonstrated that Tbx3, Klf4, and Dax-1 are direct transcriptional targets of p/CIP. Using the piggyBac transposition system, a mouse ESC line that expresses Flag-p/CIP in a doxycycline-dependent manner was generated. p/CIP overexpression increased the level of target genes and promoted the formation of undifferentiated colonies. Collectively, these results indicate that p/CIP contributes to the maintenance of ESC pluripotency through direct regulation of essential pluripotency genes. To better understand the mechanism by which p/CIP functions in ESC pluripotency, we integrated our ChIP and transcriptome data with published protein-protein interaction and promoter occupancy data to draft a p/CIP gene regulatory network. The p/CIP gene regulatory network identifies various feed-forward modules including one in which p/CIP activates members of the extended pluripotency network, demonstrating that p/CIP is a component of this extended network. Stem Cells 2014;32:204–215