The POU-er of gene nomenclature

Stephen R. Frankenberg, Dale Frank, Richard Harland, Andrew D. Johnson, Jennifer Nichols, Hitoshi Niwa, Hans R. Schöler, Elly Tanaka, Chris Wylie, Joshua M. Brickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pluripotency factor POU5F1 (OCT4) is well known as a key regulator of stem cell fate. Homologues of POU5F1 exist throughout vertebrates, but the evolutionary and functional relationships between the various family members have been unclear. The level to which function has been conserved within this family provides insight into the evolution of early embryonic potency. Here, we seek to clarify the relationship between POU5F1 homologues in the vertebrate lineage, both phylogenetically and functionally. We resolve the confusion over the identity of the zebrafish gene, which was originally named pou2, then changed to pou5f1and again, more recently, topou5f3.We argue that the use of correct nomenclature is crucial when discussing the degree to which the networks regulating early embryonic differentiation are conserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2921-2923
Number of pages3
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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