CtBP-interacting BTB zinc finger protein (CIBZ) promotes proliferation and G1/S transition in embryonic stem cells via Nanog

J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 6;287(15):12417-24. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.333856. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) require transcriptional regulation to ensure rapid proliferation that allows for self-renewal. However, the molecular mechanism by which transcriptional factors regulate this rapid proliferation remains largely unknown. Here we present data showing that CIBZ, a BTB domain zinc finger transcriptional factor, is a key transcriptional regulator for regulation of ESC proliferation. Here we show that deletion or siRNA knockdown of CIBZ inhibits ESC proliferation. Cell cycle analysis shows that loss of CIBZ delays the progression of ESCs through the G1 to S phase transition. Conversely, constitutive ectopic expression of exogenous CIBZ in ESCs promotes proliferation and accelerates G1/S transition. These findings suggest that regulation of the G1/S transition explains, in part, CIBZ-associated ESC proliferation. Our data suggest that CIBZ acts through the post-transcriptionally regulates the expression of Nanog, a positive regulator of ESC proliferation and G1/S transition, but does not affect Oct3/4 and Sox2 protein expression. Notably, constitutive overexpression of Nanog partially rescued the proliferation defect caused by CIBZ knockdown, indicating the role of CIBZ in ESC proliferation and G1/S transition at least in part depends on the Nanog protein level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • G1 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Zbtb38 protein, mouse
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Nanog protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins