Octamer-binding protein 3, Oct-3, Octamer-binding protein 4, Oct-4, Octamer-binding transcription factor 3, OTF-3
POU5F1 is a homeodomain transcription factor of the POU family, expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells and embryonic carcinoma (EC) cells. POU5F1 is significantly involved in the signaling pathway for maintaining self-renewal and pluripotency of ES cells. POU5F1 has 2 distinct DNA binding domains which independently bind half-sites of the canonical octamer motif. This flexibility allows POU5F1 to bind with distinct DNA motifs by forming heterodimers with other transcription factors or by forming homodimers in several conformations. Human POU5F1 contains a 75aa POU specific (POUS) domain and a 60aa POU-Homeo-(POUH) domain connected by a linker region. The Human POU5F1 specifically interacts with Octamer motif ATGCAAAT. POU5F1 regulates a number of target genes and has been shown to work jointly with other transcription factors including Sox2 as well as Nanog to sustain stem cell potency and self-renewal. In addition it has been shown that induced ectopic expression of mouse OCT4 in HUVECs significantly enhanced angiogenesis of the cells, broadly changed the gene expression profile and particularly increased the expression of CD133, CD34, and VEGFR2 (KDR) which are characteristic marker molecules for endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). These results might indicate that OCT4 remodels the phenotype of HUVECs from endothelial cells to EPCs by up-regulating the genes responsible for stem cell maintenance and down-regulating the genes for cell differentiation.
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