Negative autoregulation of Oct3/4 through Cdx1 promotes the onset of gastrulation

Sharon Zins Rousso, Rachel Ben Haroush Schyr, Michal Gur, Noam Zouela, Hadas Kot-Leibovich, Yehuda Shabtai, Natalia Koutsi-Urshanski, Danila Baldessari, Graciela Pillemer, Christof Niehrs, Abraham Fainsod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Gastrulation marks the onset of germ layer formation from undifferentiated precursor cells maintained by a network including the Pou5f1 gene, Oct3/4. Negative regulation of the undifferentiated state is a prerequisite for germ layer formation and subsequent development. A novel cross-regulatory network was characterized including the Pou5f1 and Cdx1 genes as part of the signals controlling the onset of gastrulation. Of particular interest was the observation that, preceding gastrulation, the Xenopus Oct3/4 factors, Oct60, Oct25, and Oct91, positively regulate Cdx1 expression through FGF signaling, and during gastrulation the Oct3/4 factors become repressors of Cdx1. Cdx1 negatively regulates the Pou5f1 genes during gastrulation, thus contributing to the repression of the network maintaining the undifferentiated state and promoting the onset of gastrulation. These regulatory interactions suggest that Oct3/4 initiates its own negative autoregulation through Cdx1 up-regulation to begin the repression of pluripotency in preparation for the onset of gastrulation and germ layer differentiation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)796-807
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Cdx1
  • FGF signaling
  • Gastrulation
  • Germ layers
  • Oct3/4
  • Pluripotency
  • Xenopus


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