The retrovirus HERVH is a long noncoding RNA required for human embryonic stem cell identity.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Lu, Xinyi; Sachs, Friedrich; Ramsay, LeeAnn; Jacques, Pierre-Étienne; Göke, Jonathan; Bourque, Guillaume; Ng, Huck-Hui
Year of Publication: 2014
Journal: Nat Struct Mol Biol
Volume: 21
Issue: 4
Pagination: 423-5
Date Published: 2014 Apr
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1545-9985
Keywords: Cell Line, Cell Nucleus, Embryonic Stem Cells, Endogenous Retroviruses, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Octamer Transcription Factor-3, Pluripotent Stem Cells, RNA, Long Noncoding, Species Specificity

Human endogenous retrovirus subfamily H (HERVH) is a class of transposable elements expressed preferentially in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Here, we report that the long terminal repeats of HERVH function as enhancers and that HERVH is a nuclear long noncoding RNA required to maintain hESC identity. Furthermore, HERVH is associated with OCT4, coactivators and Mediator subunits. Together, these results uncover a new role of species-specific transposable elements in hESCs.

DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.2799
Alternate Journal: Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol.