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Helmholtz Munich | Emily Steed & Amelie J. Kraus

July recap: two new manuscripts from Torres-Padilla lab


In July, the Torres-Padilla lab published two new manuscripts showcasing their latest research contributions.


Hyperosmotic stress induces 2-cell-like cells through ROS and ATR signaling

In a study conducted by Canat et al. in Torres-Padilla lab and published in EMBO Reports, a connection was unveiled between mechanical stress, specifically hyperosmotic stress, and the activation of a distinct transcriptional program associated with early embryonic development, specifically during the 2-cell stage.

By subjecting cells to hyperosmotic stress, the researchers observed a remarkable increase in the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS, in turn, led to the acquisition of a 2-cell-like state in the mouse embryonic stem cells.

The manuscript offers invaluable insights in the intricate interplay between mechanical stress, cellular responses, and the activation of an early embryonic program. The findings not only contribute significantly to our understanding of developmental biology but also hold promising implications for future studies exploring stress-induced cellular changes and their implications on stem cell behavior.

Original Publication

Canat et al. (2023). Hyperosmotic stress induces 2-cell-like cells through ROS and ATR signaling. EMBO Reports.


Regulation of mammalian totipotency: a molecular perspective from in vivo and in vitro studies

Totipotency is a cellular state in which a cell can lead to generation of the whole body (embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues included). The duration of the totipotency window varies across different mammalian species. Both in vitro and in vivo studies are necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of such a fascinating plastic state.

In their review, Nakatani et al., focus on a molecular angle of establishment and regulation of totipotency. They approach that both in case of in vitro cellular models, as well as looking at establishment of totipotency in embryonic models.). Here, they describe the advances that were made in studying molecular and epigenetic features of totipotent cells and discuss where it leads and what we know so far.

The focus of the review lies in dissecting the molecular aspects of totipotency establishment and regulation. Nakatani et al. describe and discuss the advancements made in investigating the molecular and epigenetic features of totipotent cells, examining both in vitro cellular models and embryonic systems, particularly Embryonic Genome Activation (EGA). This approach provides valuable insights into the current state of knowledge and sheds light on the exciting prospects and directions for future research in this field.

Original Publication

Nakatani et al. (2023). Regulation of mammalian totipotency: a molecular perspective from in vivo and in vitro studies. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development.