Pleiotropic functions for transcription factor zscan10

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 11;9(8):e104568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104568. eCollection 2014.


The transcription factor Zscan10 had been attributed a role as a pluripotency factor in embryonic stem cells based on its interaction with Oct4 and Sox2 in in vitro assays. Here we suggest a potential role of Zscan10 in controlling progenitor cell populations in vivo. Mice homozygous for a Zscan10 mutation exhibit reduced weight, mild hypoplasia in the spleen, heart and long bones and phenocopy an eye malformation previously described for Sox2 hypomorphs. Phenotypic abnormalities are supported by the nature of Zscan10 expression in midgestation embryos and adults suggesting a role for Zscan10 in either maintaining progenitor cell subpopulation or impacting on fate choice decisions thereof.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Bone Density / genetics
  • Bone and Bones / physiology
  • Codon, Initiator / genetics
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Genetic Pleiotropy*
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Weaning


  • Codon, Initiator
  • Transcription Factors
  • ZFP206 protein, mouse

Grant support

This work was supported by the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) Singapore. GMC researchers were funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Infrafrontier grant 01KX1012), the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), the German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders (grant 01EO 0901), and by the Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in Ageing Society (HA-215). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.