The transcriptional network controlling pluripotency in ES cells

Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2008;73:195-202. doi: 10.1101/sqb.2008.72.001.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are capable of continuous self-renewal and pluripotential differentiation. A "core" set of transcription factors, Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog, maintains the ES cell state, whereas various combinations of factors, invariably including Oct4 and Sox2, reprogram somatic cells to pluripotency. We have sought to define the transcriptional network controlling pluripotency in mouse ES cells through combined proteomic and genomic approaches. We constructed a protein interaction network surrounding Nanog and determined gene targets of the core and reprogramming factors, plus others. The expanded transcriptional network we have constructed forms the basis for further studies of directed differentiation and lineage reprogramming, and a paradigm for comprehensive elucidation of regulatory pathways in other stem cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / physiology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Proteomics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Nanog protein, mouse
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors