CNS stem cells express a new class of intermediate filament protein

Cell. 1990 Feb 23;60(4):585-95. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90662-x.


Multipotential CNS stem cells receive and implement instructions governing differentiation to diverse neuronal and glial fates. Exploration of the mechanisms generating the many cell types of the brain depends crucially on markers identifying the stem cell state. We describe a gene whose expression distinguishes the stem cells from the more differentiated cells in the neural tube. This gene was named nestin because it is specifically expressed in neuroepithelial stem cells. The predicted amino acid sequence of the nestin gene product shows that nestin defines a distinct sixth class of intermediate filament protein. These observations extend a model in which transitions in intermediate filament gene expression reflect major steps in the pathway of neural differentiation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Central Nervous System / cytology*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Library
  • Genes
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Nestin
  • Nucleotide Mapping
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nes protein, rat
  • Nestin
  • RNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M34384