Many genes have been identified that are specifically expressed in multiple types of stem cells in their undifferentiated state. It is generally assumed that at least some of these putative "stemness" genes are involved in maintaining properties that are common to all stem cells. We compared gene expression profiles between undifferentiated and differentiated embryonic stem cells (ESCs) using DNA microarrays. We identified several genes with much greater signal in undifferentiated ESCs than in their differentiated derivatives, among them the putative sternness gene encoding junctional adhesion molecule B (Jam-B gene). However, in spite of the specific expression in undifferentiated ESCs, Jam-B mutant ESCs had normal morphology and pluripotency. Furthermore, Jam-B homozygous mutant mice are fertile and have no overt developmental defects. Moreover, we found that neural and hematopoietic stem cells recovered from Jam-B mutant mice are not impaired in their ability to self-renew and differentiate. These results demonstrate that Jam-B is dispensable for normal mouse development and stem cell identity in embryonic, neural, and hematopoietic stem cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology