Segregation of the mouse germline and soma

Man Zhang, Ian Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs), originate from the early post-implantation epiblast in response to BMP4 secreted by the extraembryonic ectoderm. However, how BMP4 acts here has remained unclear. Recent work has identified the transcription factor (TF), OTX2 as a key determinant of the segregation of the germline from the soma. OTX2 is expressed ubiquitously in the early post-implantation epiblast, decreasing rapidly in cells that initiate the PGC programme. Otx2 mRNA is also rapidly repressed by BMP4 in vitro, in germline competent cells. Supporting a model in which BMP4 represses Otx2, enforcing sustained OTX2 expression in competent cells blocks germline entry. In contrast, Otx2-null epiblast cells enter the germline with increased efficiency in vitro and in vivo and can do so independently of BMP4. Also, Otx2-null cells can initiate germline entry even without the crucial PGC TF, BLIMP1. In this review, we survey recent advances and propose hypotheses concerning germline entry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3064-3071
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number22
Early online date4 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Primordial germ cell
  • germline competent
  • formative pluripotency
  • transcription factors
  • OTX2


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