Abstract / Description of output
Pluripotent cells reorganise themselves into an epithelium before they initiate differentiation, but it is not clear how these two events are mechanistically linked. Here we use quantitative imaging approaches to measure cellular rearrangements that accompany exit from naive pluripotency. We show that competence to epithelialise, like competence to differentiate, is a regulated process. The pro-differentiation transcription factor Tcf15 prospectively identifies cells that are competent to epithelialise. We identify early upregulation of the laminin receptor integrin alpha3 prior to differentiation and show that Tcf15 helps to regulate this change. Finally, we show that Tcf15 identifies and is required for efficient differentiation of a primed subpopulation of pluripotent cells. We conclude that competence to epithelialise is actively regulated and linked to differentiation-competence through the transcription factor Tcf15.