POU5F 1, 2, 3 - SPOTLIGHT article on the importance of using the right gene nomenclature – University of Copenhagen

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22 July 2014

POU5F 1, 2, 3 - SPOTLIGHT article on the importance of using the right gene nomenclature

gene nomenclature

In collaboration with a group international leaders in developmental and stem cell biology, DanStem Professor Joshua Brickman publishes spotlight article online on July 22, 2014 in issue 141 (15) of the scientific journal Development on the importance of correct usage of gene nomenclature.

The use of common names for orthologous genes, i.e. genes in different species that originated by vertical descent from a single gene of the last common ancestor, is entrenched in the language of biology as a way of conveying that these genes are also likely to have orthologous roles and functions.

“The correct naming of the regulators does not alter the underlying biology or the degree to which pluripotency is or is not conserved in e.g. zebrafish, but it can be misleading and cause confusion for those who are not familiar with the genes being discussed,” says Professor Joshua Brickman.

The article focuses on the Class V POU transcription factors which are important regulators of potency, differentiation and early development in vertebrates. The mouse/human member of this family, POU5F1 (also known as Oct4) was originally identified as a master regulator of pluripotency and the central factor used by Shinya Yammanaka in his Nobel Prize winning experiment, to reprogram adult cells into an embryonic stem cell like fate. The article address and discusses how the regulators POU5F1, -2, and -3 show varying degrees of functional conservation in supporting pluripotency across different vertebrates.

The article is published in Development, issue 141 (15), 2014: The POU-er of gene nomenclature

Direct link to article: http://dev.biologists.org/content/141/15/2921.full

Contact: Professor Joshua Brickman, joshua.brickman@sund.ku.dk, +45 5168 0438