Self-renewal and differentiation are the hallmarks of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, it is largely unknown about how the pluripotency is regulated. Here we demonstrate that Pcid2 is required for the maintenance of self-renewal both in mouse and human ESCs. Pcid2 plays a critical role in suppression of ESC differentiation. Pcid2 deficiency causes early embryonic lethality before the blastocyst stage. Pcid2 associates with EID1 and is present in the CBP/p300-EID1 complex in the ESCs. We show that MDM2 is an E3 ligase for K48-linked EID1 ubiquitination for its degradation. For the maintenance of self-renewal, Pcid2 binds to EID1 to impede the association with MDM2. Then EID1 is not degraded to sustain its stability to block the HAT activity of CBP/p300, leading to suppression of the developmental gene expression. Collectively, Pcid2 is present in the CBP/p300-EID1 complex to control the switch balance of mouse and human ESCs through modulation of EID1 degradation.
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