Differential expression of the Oct-4 transcription factor during mouse germ cell differentiation

Maurizio Pesce, Xiangyuan Wang, Debra J. Wolgemuth, Hans R. Schöler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The POU transcription factor Oct-4 is expressed in early mouse embryogenesis and in pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) and embryonic carcinoma (EC) stem cell lines. After gastrulation in the embryo, Oct-4 expression is confined to the germline. The present study provides evidence that Oct-4 undergoes downregulation during oogenesis and spermatogenesis, coincident with entry into meiosis. Furthermore, analysis of maturation stages of oocytes showed that Oct-4 is upregulated de novo in the final stages of meiotic prophase I in female germ cells. These data suggest that Oct-4 downregulation in germ cells in both sexes might represent one of the molecular triggers involved in the commitment to meiosis. The upregulation of Oct-4 in oocytes at the completion of the prophase I of meiotic division further suggests a specific involvement of this transcription factor in oocyte growth or the acquisition of meiotic competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998


  • Germ cells
  • Meiosis
  • Mouse gonad
  • Oct-4
  • Oogenesis
  • Primordial germ cells
  • Spermatogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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