Analysis of Esg1 expression in pluripotent cells and the germline reveals similarities with Oct4 and Sox2 and differences between human pluripotent cell lines

Stem Cells. Nov-Dec 2005;23(10):1436-42. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2005-0146. Epub 2005 Sep 15.


Establishment of pluripotent epiblast cells is a critical event during early mammalian development because all somatic lineages and the primordial germ cells (PGCs) are derived from them. The epiblast and PGCs are in turn the precursors of pluripotent embryonic stem cells and embryonic germ cells, respectively. Although PGCs are specialized cells, they express several key pluripotency-related genes, such as Oct4 and Sox2. We have analyzed Esg1 expression in mouse and human cells and shown that in the mouse the gene is specifically expressed in preimplantation embryos, stem cells, and the germline. Moreover, Esg1 coexpresses with Oct4 and Sox2, confirming its identity as a marker of the pluripotent cycle. Esg1 is also expressed with Oct4 and Sox2 by human embryonic stem cells and in germ cell carcinoma tissue but not by all human embryonal carcinoma cell lines. These data suggest that together with Oct4 and Sox2, Esg1 plays a conserved role in the pluripotent pathway of mouse and human stem and germ cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Lineage
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Germ Cells / cytology
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • HMGB Proteins / genetics
  • HMGB Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Enhancer of Split Groucho protein, mouse
  • HMGB Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SOX2 protein, human
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Sox2 protein, mouse
  • TLE1 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors