BACKGROUND: Oct4 is a key factor of an expanded transcriptional network (Oct4-TN) that governs pluripotency and self-renewal in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in the inner cell mass from which ESCs are derived. A pending question is whether the establishment of the Oct4-TN initiates during oogenesis or after fertilisation. To this regard, recent evidence has shown that Oct4 controls a poorly known Oct4-TN central to the acquisition of the mouse egg developmental competence. The aim of this study was to investigate the identity and extension of this maternal Oct4-TN, as much as whether its presence is circumscribed to the egg or maintained beyond fertilisation. RESULTS: By comparing the genome-wide transcriptional profile of developmentally competent eggs that express the OCT4 protein to that of developmentally incompetent eggs in which OCT4 is down-regulated, we unveiled a maternal Oct4-TN of 182 genes. Eighty of these transcripts escape post-fertilisation degradation and represent the maternal Oct4-TN inheritance that is passed on to the 2-cell embryo. Most of these 80 genes are expressed in cancer cells and 37 are notable companions of the Oct4 transcriptome in ESCs. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide, for the first time, a developmental link between eggs, early preimplantation embryos and ESCs, indicating that the molecular signature that characterises the ESCs identity is rooted in oogenesis. Also, they contribute a useful resource to further study the mechanisms of Oct4 function and regulation during the maternal-to-embryo transition and to explore the link between the regulation of pluripotency and the acquisition of de-differentiation in cancer cells.
Gatekeeper of pluripotency: A common Oct4 transcriptional network operates in mouse eggs and embryonic stem cells / Zuccotti M; Merico V; Bellone M; Mulas F; Sacchi L; Rebuzzini P; Prigione A; Redi CA; Bellazzi R; Adjaye J; Garagna S.. - In: BMC GENOMICS. - ISSN 1471-2164. - 12(2011), pp. 1-13. [10.1186/1471-2164-12-345]
|Tipologia ministeriale:||Articolo su rivista|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su rivista|