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Inhibition of MUC1-C Increases ROS and Cell Death in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
International Journal of Stem Cells
Published online October 31, 2020;  
© 2020 Korean Society for Stem Cell Research.

Jeong-A Park1,2, Sangkyu Park1,2, Jun-Kyu Choi1, Myung-Kwan Han3, Younghee Lee1,2

1Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
2Biotechnology Research Institute, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
3Department of Microbiology, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea
Correspondence to: Younghee Lee
Department of Biochemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Chungbuk National University, 1 Chungdae-Ro, Seowon-Gu, Cheongju 28644, Korea
Tel: +82-43-261-3387, Fax: +82-43-267-2306
Received May 24, 2020; Revised July 15, 2020; Accepted August 11, 2020.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background and Objectives: Embryonic stem (ES) cells have the capacity to self-renew and generate all types of cells. MUC1-C, a cytoplasmic subunit of MUC1, is overexpressed in various carcinomas and mediates signaling pathways to regulate intracellular metabolic processes and gene expression involved in the maintenance of cancer cells. However, the functional role of MUC1-C in ES cells is not well understood. In this study, we investigated the role of MUC1-C on growth, survival, and differentiation of mouse ES (mES) cells.
Methods and Results: Undifferentiated mES cells expressed the MUC1-C protein and the expression level was decreased during differentiation. Inhibition of MUC1-C, by the specific inhibitor GO201, reduced proliferation of mES cells. However, there was no prominent effect on pluripotent markers such as Oct4 expression and STAT3 signaling, and MUC1-C inhibition did not induce differentiation. Inhibition of MUC1-C increased the G1 phase population, decreased the S phase population, and increased cell death. Furthermore, inhibition of MUC1-C induced disruption of the ROS balance in mES cells.
Conclusions: These results suggest that MUC1-C is involved in the growth and survival of mES cells.
Keywords : Mouse embryonic stem cells, MUC1-C, Proliferation, Cell cycle, ROS

February 2021, 14 (1)