A role for mitotic bookmarking of SOX2 in pluripotency and differentiation

Cédric Deluz, Elias T. Friman, Daniel Strebinger, Alexander Benke, Mahé Raccaud, Andrea Callegari, Marion Leleu, Suliana Manley, David M. Suter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Mitotic bookmarking transcription factors remain bound to chromosomes during mitosis and were proposed to regulate phenotypic maintenance of stem and progenitor cells at the mitosis-to-G1 (M–G1) transition. However, mitotic bookmarking remains largely unexplored in most stem cell types, and its functional relevance for cell fate decisions remains unclear. Here we screened for mitotic chromosome binding within the pluripotency network of embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that SOX2 and OCT4 remain bound to mitotic chromatin through their respective DNA-binding domains. Dynamic characterization using photobleaching-based methods and single-molecule imaging revealed quantitatively similar specific DNA interactions, but different nonspecific DNA interactions, of SOX2 and OCT4 with mitotic chromatin. Using ChIP-seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation [ChIP] combined with high-throughput sequencing) to assess the genome-wide distribution of SOX2 on mitotic chromatin, we demonstrate the bookmarking activity of SOX2 on a small set of genes. Finally, we investigated the function of SOX2 mitotic bookmarking in cell fate decisions and show that its absence at the M–G1 transition impairs pluripotency maintenance and abrogates its ability to induce neuroectodermal differentiation but does not affect reprogramming efficiency toward induced pluripotent stem cells. Our study demonstrates the mitotic bookmarking property of SOX2 and reveals its functional importance in pluripotency maintenance and ES cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2538-2550
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Mitotic bookmarking
  • Neuroectoderm
  • Pluripotency


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