Arad Bustan, MSc

Ph.D. Student

How different KRAB zinc finger proteins in different mouse embryonic stem cells, interact with transposable elements

KRAB zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZFPs) are mouse proteins that regulate gene expression. They interact with transposable elements (TEs), repetitive DNA sequences that can move within the genome.

In mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), KRAB-ZFPs bind to specific TE DNA sequences using their zinc finger domains. This binding recruits other proteins like KAP1 (KRAB-associated protein 1), which modify the surrounding chromatin structure. This creates a repressive environment, preventing TE activity and gene expression.

Different mouse ESCs have different KRAB-ZFPs and TE compositions, leading to variations in their interactions. The expression levels of KRAB-ZFPs also change during ESC differentiation, influencing TE regulation.

KRAB-ZFPs play a role in maintaining genome stability and normal cellular functions by repressing TEs and shaping the epigenetic landscape of the genome.

In summary, KRAB-ZFPs in mouse ESCs bind to TE DNA sequences, recruit other proteins to modify chromatin, and repress TE activity. The specific KRAB-ZFPs and TE compositions vary between ESCs, and their regulation is important for genome stability.