Derivation of rhesus monkey parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells and its microRNA signature

PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e25052. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025052. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


Parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells are considered as a promising resource for regeneration medicine and powerful tools for developmental biology. A lot of studies have revealed that embryonic stem cells have distinct microRNA expression pattern and these microRNAs play important roles in self-renewal and pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. However, few studies concern about microRNA expression pattern in parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells, especially in non-human primate--the ideal model species for human, largely due to the limited rhesus monkey parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (rpESCs) available and lack of systematic analysis of the basics of rpESCs. Here, we derived two novel rpESCs lines and characterized their microRNA signature by Solexa deep sequencing. These two novel rpESCs shared many properties with other primate ESCs, including expression of pluripotent markers, capacity to generate derivatives representative of all three germ layers in vivo and in vitro, maintaining of euploid karyotype even after long culture. Additionally, lack of some paternally expressed imprinted genes and identity of Single-nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) compare to their oocyte donors support their parthenogenesis origin. By characterizing their microRNA signature, we identified 91 novel microRNAs, except those are also detected in other primate ESCs. Moreover, these two novel rpESCs display a unique microRNA signature, comparing to their biparental counterpart ESCs. Then we analyzed X chromosome status in these two novel rpESCs; results suggested that one of them possesses two active X chromosomes, the other possesses only one active X chromosome liking biparental female embryonic stem cells. Taken together, our novel rpESCs provide a new alternative to existing rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells, microRNA information expands rhesus monkey microRNA data and may help understanding microRNA roles in pluripotency and parthenogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Developmental Biology / methods
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Regeneration


  • MicroRNAs

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE30510