The Oct-4 transcription factor is expressed in embryonic stem cells and germ cells of the mouse embryo. Cells that are driven into embryonic and extraembryonic somatic differentiation lose Oct-4 expression. Oct-4 is crucial for the maintenance of the totipotency of embryonic cells at early developmental stages as demonstrated recently by homologous recombination. Since during embryogenesis Oct-4 is restricted to germ cells, it is possible that it plays a key role for the germline lineage by preventing differentiation of these cells during gastrulation. Thus, Oct-4 appears to be a key regulator of totipotency during the life cycle of mammals.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Cells Tissues Organs|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
- Embryonic stem cell
- Germ cell
- Transcription factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas