Together with Oct4, Otx2 drives early enhancer activation during Embryonic Stem Cell differentiation

Marks, Hendrik (4-kant)

In the last issue of Cell Reports, Hendrik Marks (photo up) and Henk Stunnenberg (photo below)  showed together with the groups of Andrew Sharrocks and Austin Smith that Otx2 has a key role in Early Enhancer Activation in early development.

Together, they examined the role of Otx2 in this process in mouse ESCs and demonstrate that it plays a leading role in remodeling the gene regulatory networks as cells exit from ground state pluripotency. Otx2 drives enhancer activation through affecting chromatin marks and the activity of associated genes. Mechanistically, Oct4 is required for Otx2 expression, and reciprocally, Otx2 is required for efficient Oct4 recruitment to many enhancer regions. Therefore, the Oct4-Otx2 regulatory axis actively establishes a new regulatory chromatin landscape during the early events that accompany exit from ground state pluripotency.


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