Oct4 regulates the embryonic axis and coordinates exit from pluripotency and germ layer specification in the mouse embryo

Carla Mulas, Gloryn Chia, Kenneth Alan Jones, Andrew Christopher Hodgson, Giuliano Giuseppe Stirparo, Jennifer Nichols*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lineage segregation in the mouse embryo is a finely controlled process dependent upon coordination of signalling pathways and transcriptional responses. Here we employ a conditional deletion system to investigate embryonic patterning and lineage specification in response to loss of Oct4. We first observe ectopic expression of Nanog in Oct4-negative postimplantation epiblast cells. The expression domains of lineage markers are subsequently disrupted. Definitive endoderm expands at the expense of mesoderm; the anterior-posterior axis is positioned more distally and an ectopic posterior-like domain appears anteriorly, suggesting a role for Oct4 in maintaining the embryonic axis. Although primitive streak forms in the presumptive proximal-posterior region, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is impeded by an increase of E-cadherin, leading to complete tissue disorganisation and failure to generate germ layers. In explant and in vitro differentiation assays, Oct4 mutants also show upregulation of E-cadherin and Foxa2, suggesting a cell-autonomous phenotype. We confirm requirement for Oct4 in self-renewal of postimplantation epiblast ex vivo. Our results indicate a role for Oct4 in orchestrating multiple fates and enabling expansion, correct patterning and lineage choice in the postimplantation epiblast.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdev159103
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Volume145
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Embryonic axis
  • Epiblast
  • Gastrulation
  • Lineage specification
  • Oct4
  • Pluripotency

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Oct4 regulates the embryonic axis and coordinates exit from pluripotency and germ layer specification in the mouse embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this