The Role and Specific Mechanism of OCT4 in Cancer Stem Cells: A Review

Int J Stem Cells. 2020 Nov 30;13(3):312-325. doi: 10.15283/ijsc20097.


Recently, evidences show that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a type of cancer cell group with self-renewal and play a huge role in tumor recurrence, metastasis, and drug resistance. Finding new treatment directions and targets for cancer prognosis and reducing mortality has become a top priority. OCT4, as a transcription factor, participates in maintaining the stem characteristics of CSCs, but the mechanism of OCT4 is often overlooked. In this review, we try to illustrate the mechanism by which OCT4 plays a role in CSCs from the perspective of genetic modification of OCT4, non-coding RNA, complexes and signaling pathways associated with OCT4. Our ultimate goal is to provide new targets for cancer treatment to prolong the survival of cancer patients.

Keywords: Cancer stem cell; Complex; Epigenetic modification; Non-coding RNA; OCT4; Signal pathway.

Publication types

  • Review