Oct4 Is Required ∼E7.5 for Proliferation in the Primitive Streak

Brian DeVeale, Irina Brokhman, Paria Mohseni, Tomas Babak, Charles Yoon, Anthony Lin, Kento Onishi, Alexey Tomilin, Larysa Pevny, Peter W. Zandstra, Andras Nagy, Derek van der Kooy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Oct4 is a widely recognized pluripotency factor as it maintains Embryonic Stem (ES) cells in a pluripotent state, and, in vivo, prevents the inner cell mass (ICM) in murine embryos from differentiating into trophectoderm. However, its function in somatic tissue after this developmental stage is not well characterized. Using a tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase and floxed alleles of Oct4, we investigated the effect of depleting Oct4 in mouse embryos between the pre-streak and headfold stages, ∼E6.0-E8.0, when Oct4 is found in dynamic patterns throughout the embryonic compartment of the mouse egg cylinder. We found that depletion of Oct4 ∼E7.5 resulted in a severe phenotype, comprised of craniorachischisis, random heart tube orientation, failed turning, defective somitogenesis and posterior truncation. Unlike in ES cells, depletion of the pluripotency factors Sox2 and Oct4 after E7.0 does not phenocopy, suggesting that ∼E7.5 Oct4 is required within a network that is altered relative to the pluripotency network. Oct4 is not required in extraembryonic tissue for these processes, but is required to maintain cell viability in the embryo and normal proliferation within the primitive streak. Impaired expansion of the primitive streak occurs coincident with Oct4 depletion ∼E7.5 and precedes deficient convergent extension which contributes to several aspects of the phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003957
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this