New type of POU domain in germ line-specific protein Oct-4

Nature. 1990 Mar 29;344(6265):435-9. doi: 10.1038/344435a0.


Members of a family of murine octamer-binding proteins interact specifically with the octamer motif, a transcription regulatory element found in the promoter and enhancer regions of many genes. Oct-4 is a maternally expressed protein that is also present in the pre-implantation mouse embryo. Although many regulatory proteins are expressed in post-implantation embryos, transcription factors regulating pre-implantation processes have remained elusive. The Oct-4 gene is therefore a prime candidate for an early developmental control gene. Here we report the complementary DNA cloning of the mouse Oct-4 gene, and the characterization of the encoded protein(s) by sequential in vitro transcription, translation, DNA-binding and protease-clipping analysis. Deletion analysis shows that the DNA-binding activity is mediated by a POU domain encoded in an open reading frame corresponding to a 324-amino-acid protein. Sequence comparison with known POU domains reveals that Oct-4 is a novel member of the POU-family.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Blastocyst / analysis
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Germ Cells / analysis
  • Mice
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Oocytes / analysis
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA / analysis
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • Peptide Hydrolases