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.
- Lu X, Sachs F, Ramsay L, Jacques PÉ, Göke J, Bourque G, Ng HH. (2014) The retrovirus HERVH is a long noncoding RNA required for human embryonic stem cell identity. Nat Struct Mol Biol 21(4), 423-5. [abstract]