A nexus between Oct-4 and E1A: implications for gene regulation in embryonic stem cells

Cell. 1991 Jul 26;66(2):291-304. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(91)90619-a.


Oct-4 is a transcription factor expressed in the pluripotent progenitor cells of the early mouse embryo. Additional factors are required for the distal activation of genes in differentiated cells containing ectopically expressed Oct-4. Here we show that Oct-4 and E1A are sufficient for distance-independent activation of the basal transcription machinery. The ratio of Oct-4 to E1A is critical for transcriptional activation, because higher levels of either factor are less efficient. Activation depends on a transactivation domain linked to the POU domain of Oct-4 and also on the conserved domain 3 of the 289RE1A protein. This domain is required for binding to the C-terminal part of Oct-4 including the POU domain. Our results indicate that E1A can serve as a bridging factor between Oct-4 and the basal initiation complex, and we postulate that an E1A-like factor acts as a cellular bridging factor of Oct-4 in pluripotent cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Early Proteins
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genetic Vectors
  • HeLa Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / metabolism*
  • Plasmids
  • Teratoma
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transfection


  • Adenovirus Early Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • POU5F1 protein, human
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors