NANOGP8 is a retrogene expressed in cancers

FEBS J. 2006 Apr;273(8):1723-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05186.x.


Nanog is a transcription factor that plays key roles in the self-renewal and maintenance of pluripotency in human embryonic stem (ES) cells. Among Nanog's 11 pseudogenes, NANOGP8 theoretically could be a retrogene, but was considered unlikely as it has not been identified in any expressed sequence tags (ESTs). In this study, we found that NANOGP8 was expressed in several cancer cell lines and in all cancer tissues tested. The complete coding sequence was cloned and the sequence is highly homologous to that of Nanog. We were also able to detect its protein expression using anti-Nanog antibody in recombinant Escherichia coli and some cancer cell lines tested. In addition, expression of NANOGP8 in NIH3T3 cells can promote cell proliferation. The expression of NANOGP8 in cancer cell lines and cancer tissues suggests that NANOGP8 may play important roles in tumorigenesis. This work not only has potential significance in stem cell and cancer research, but it also raises the possibility that some of the human pseudogenes may have regulatory functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells / metabolism
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Pseudogenes / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Retroelements / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • S Phase
  • Transfection
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • NANOG protein, human
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Retroelements