Oct4 shuffles Sox partners to direct cell fate

EMBO J. 2013 Apr 3;32(7):917-9. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.48. Epub 2013 Mar 8.


EMBO J (2013) 32: 938–953 doi:10.1038/emboj.2013.31; published online March082013

The transcription factor Oct4 plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the embryonic pluripotent state, but can also regulate early lineage commitment. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Aksoy et al (2013) lend critical mechanistic insights into the ability of Oct4 to regulate and specify the primitive endodermal lineage. These regulatory actions are governed by alternative direct partnering of Oct4 with Sox17, instead of Sox2, that leads to global reprogramming of enhancer occupancy by Oct4 during primitive endoderm differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Mammalian / embryology*
  • Endoderm / embryology*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • HMGB Proteins / metabolism*
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism*
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • SOXF Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • HMGB Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • SOXF Transcription Factors
  • Sox17 protein, mouse
  • Sox2 protein, mouse