Highly cooperative chimeric super-SOX induces naive pluripotency across species

Cell Stem Cell. 2024 Jan 4;31(1):127-147.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2023.11.010. Epub 2023 Dec 22.


Our understanding of pluripotency remains limited: iPSC generation has only been established for a few model species, pluripotent stem cell lines exhibit inconsistent developmental potential, and germline transmission has only been demonstrated for mice and rats. By swapping structural elements between Sox2 and Sox17, we built a chimeric super-SOX factor, Sox2-17, that enhanced iPSC generation in five tested species: mouse, human, cynomolgus monkey, cow, and pig. A swap of alanine to valine at the interface between Sox2 and Oct4 delivered a gain of function by stabilizing Sox2/Oct4 dimerization on DNA, enabling generation of high-quality OSKM iPSCs capable of supporting the development of healthy all-iPSC mice. Sox2/Oct4 dimerization emerged as the core driver of naive pluripotency with its levels diminished upon priming. Transient overexpression of the SK cocktail (Sox+Klf4) restored the dimerization and boosted the developmental potential of pluripotent stem cells across species, providing a universal method for naive reset in mammals.

Keywords: Oct4; POU linker; Sox17; Sox2; Sox2/Oct4 heterodimer structure; bovine; developmental potential; engineered transcription factor; human; iPSC; mouse; naive pluripotency; non-human primate; porcine; reprogramming; reset; super-SOX; tetraploid complementation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Reprogramming
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Macaca fascicularis / metabolism
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / metabolism
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Swine


  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors