CREB-binding protein (CBP) gene family regulates planarian survival and stem cell differentiation

Susanna Fraguas, Sheila Cárcel, Coral Vivancos, Ma Dolores Molina, Jordi Ginés, Judith Mazariegos, Thileepan Sekaran, Kerstin Bartscherer, Rafael Romero, Francesc Cebrià

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In developmental biology, the regulation of stem cell plasticity and differentiation remains an open question. CBP(CREB-binding protein)/p300 is a conserved gene family that functions as a transcriptional co-activator and plays important roles in a wide range of cellular processes, including cell death, the DNA damage response, and tumorigenesis. The acetyl transferase activity of CBPs is particularly important, as histone and non-histone acetylation results in changes in chromatin architecture and protein activity that affect gene expression. Many studies have described the conserved functions of CBP/p300 in stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is an excellent model for the in vivo study of the molecular mechanisms underlying stem cell differentiation during regeneration. However, how this process is regulated genetically and epigenetically is not well-understood yet. We identified 5 distinct Smed-cbp genes in S. mediterranea that show different expression patterns. Functional analyses revealed that Smed-cbp-2 appears to be essential for stem cell maintenance. On the other hand, the silencing of Smed-cbp-3 resulted in the growth of blastemas that were apparently normal, but remained largely unpigmented and undifferentiated. Smed-cbp-3 silencing also affected the differentiation of several cell lineages including neural, epidermal, digestive, and excretory cell types. Finally, we analysed the predicted interactomes of CBP-2 and CBP-3 as an initial step to better understand their functions in planarian stem cell biology. Our results indicate that planarian cbp genes play key roles in stem cell maintenance and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Animals
  • CREB-Binding Protein/genetics
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromatin/metabolism
  • Histones/metabolism
  • Planarians/genetics
  • Regeneration/genetics
  • Stem Cells/cytology
  • Transcription Factors/metabolism


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