Stella was initially identified in primordial germ cells and pre-implantation embryos whose expression as a maternal factor is important in early embryonic development but is not required for germ cell specification in mice. In humans, Stella is thought to be a marker for pluripotency in embryonic stem (ES) cells as its expression is observed in primordial germ cells of both sexes and germ cell tumors but not in normal somatic tissues. However, in ES cell colonies, heterogeneous expression of Stella was seen in high throughput in situ hybridization assays, indicating that higher levels of complexity exist in otherwise thought to be undifferentiated ES cells. At least two distinct isoforms of Stella are known to exist.
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Protein Aliases: Compaction-associated protein 1; Developmental pluripotency-associated protein 3; primordial germ cell 7; Primordial germ cell protein 7; Stella-related protein
Gene Aliases: 2410075G02Rik; Cap1p; Crg1; DPPA3; PCG7; PGC7; STELLA; STELLAR