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Rhodes > BioBRU > Members > Prof. Edkins Research Group > Jason Sterrenberg

Jason Sterrenberg

PhD Student

Research Project

OCT4 and HSP90 – Who is regulating the stem cell regulator?

The ability to reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state (induced pluripotent stem cells, iPSCs) has revolutionized studies on stem cell biology. OCT4 is a transcription factor that is vitally important in maintaining and regulating pluripotency and in reprogramming of cells into iPSCs. The activation of OCT4 is highly regulated through a series of phosphorylation and other post-translational events. A recent study in murine embryonic cells has shown a direct interaction between the molecular chaperone HSP90 and OCT4, although this interaction has not been observed in human cells. Our aim is in the elucidation of an OCT4-HSP90 multi-chaperone complex in the human system and characterization of the post-translational events required for the interaction. Additionally the presence and biological significance of the OCT4-HSP90 complex in modulating pluripotency and differentiation will be analyzed using a human iPSC model.


  1. de la Mare JA, Contu L, Hunter MC, Moyo B, Sterrenberg JN, Dhanani KC, Mutsvunguma LZ and Edkins AL. (2013). Breast Cancer: Current developments in molecular approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery. Accepted 28 October, PMID: 24171821
  2. de la Mare JA, Sterrenberg JN, Sukhthankar MG, Chiwakata MT, Beukes DR, Blatch GL and Edkins AL. (2013). Assessment of potential anti-cancer stem cell activity of marine algal compounds using an in vitro mammosphere assay. Cancer Cell International 13 (1), 39.
  3. Sterrenberg JN, Blatch GL and Edkins AL. (2011). Human DNAJ in cancer and stem cells. Cancer Letters 312 (2), 129 – 142

Life outside the lab...

I enjoy... football, rugby, watching sport, playing sport, eating, chocolates and dogs.




Last Modified: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:17:17 SAST