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Keywords:

  • Rhesus embryonic stem cells;
  • Cell cycle;
  • Stemness

Abstract

Using flow cytometry measurements combined with quantitative analysis of cell cycle kinetics, we show that rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are characterized by an extremely rapid transit through the G1 phase, which accounts for 15% of the total cell cycle duration. Monkey ESCs exhibit a non-phasic expression of cyclin E, which is detected during all phases of the cell cycle, and do not growth-arrest in G1 after γ-irradiation, reflecting the absence of a G1 checkpoint. Serum deprivation or pharmacological inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) did not result in any alteration in the cell cycle distribution, indicating that ESC growth does not rely on mitogenic signals transduced by the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway. Taken together, these data indicate that rhesus monkey ESCs, like their murine counterparts, exhibit unusual cell cycle features in which cell cycle control mechanisms operating during the G1 phase are reduced or absent.