The CDK1 inhibitor purvalanol A reduces cell viability specifically in pluripotent stem cells, but not in differentiated cells. This reduction is dependent on the pro-apoptotic genes Bax and Bak.
CDK1 Inhibition Targets the p53-NOXA-MCL1 Axis, Selectively Kills Embryonic Stem Cells, and Prevents Teratoma Formation
Published 2015 in Stem Cell Reports
Noelle E Huskey, Tingxia Guo, Kimberley J Evason, Olga Momcilovic, David Pardo, Katelyn J Creasman, Robert L Judson, Robert Blelloch, Scott A Oakes, Matthias Hebrok, Andrei Goga
Here, Noelle reports a thorough dissection of the machinery that makes the unique stem-cell cell-cycle unique. She finds that CDK1, but not other CDKs, is critical specifically for the cell cycle of pluripotent stem cells. Knock-down of CDK1 or associated cyclins selectively altered the cell cycle, induced DNA damage and caused apoptosis in mouse embryonic stem cells, but not in differentiating cells. She then establishes a potential biomedical use for this observation, finding that CDK1 inhibitors prevent stem cell-derived tumors as well as further growth of previously established tumors.