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Journal Article

Reprogramming competence of OCT factors is determined by transactivation domains


Kim,  Johnny
Cardiac Development and Remodeling, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kim, K.-P., Wu, Y., Yoon, J., Adachi, K., Wu, G., Velychko, S., et al. (2020). Reprogramming competence of OCT factors is determined by transactivation domains. SCIENCE ADVANCES, 6(36): eaaz7364. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz7364.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-4E99-6
OCT4 (also known as POU5F1) plays an essential role in reprogramming. It is the only member of the POU (Pit-Oct-Unc) family of transcription factors that can induce pluripotency despite sharing high structural similarities to all other members. Here, we discover that OCT6 (also known as POU3F1) can elicit reprogramming specifically in human cells. OCT6-based reprogramming does not alter the mesenchymal-epithelial transition but is attenuated through the delayed activation of the pluripotency network in comparison with OCT4-based reprogramming. Creating a series of reciprocal domain-swapped chimeras and mutants across all OCT factors, we clearly delineate essential elements of OCT4/OCT6-dependent reprogramming and, conversely, identify the features that prevent induction of pluripotency by other OCT factors. With this strategy, we further discover various chimeric proteins that are superior to OCT4 in reprogramming. Our findings clarify how reprogramming competences of OCT factors are conferred through their structural components.