Identification of putative downstream genes of Oct-3, a pluripotent cell-specific transcription factor

Genes Cells. 1996 Feb;1(2):239-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2443.1996.d01-237.x.


Background: Oct-3, a pluripotent cell-specific POU transcription factor, appears to be a key regulator in pluripotential early embryonic cells and germ cells. In order to study how pluripotency is maintained, it is essential to know what genes are regulated by Oct-3.

Results: By employing a subtraction method, we identified several pluripotent cell-specific genes. Based upon expression patterns in various cell lines lacking or possessing Oct-3 function, about half of the genes were placed downstream of Oct-3. These downstream genes included a previously-known gene (Glut-3: a gene for a glucose transporter) and novel genes (226, 383 and 880). Their expression patterns paralleled that of Oct-3: all of these genes were highly expressed in pluripotent cells such as EC/ES cells, but switched off upon differentiation. More importantly, their expression was rescued in 'revertant' cells that ectopically acquired the Oct-3 transactivating function. Furthermore, the expression profiles of Glut-3, 226 and 383 during mouse development also overlapped that of Oct-3. The Glut-3 gene possessed multiple Oct-3 binding sites in its transcriptional regulatory regions, suggesting that at least one of the downstream genes was a direct target of Oct-3.

Conclusions: A large proportion of pluripotent cell-specific genes appear to be downstream targets of Oct-3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Protein Binding
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Glucose Transporter Type 3
  • Monosaccharide Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • Slc2a3 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors