Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Structure and expression pattern of Oct4 gene are conserved in vole Microtus rossiaemeridionalis

Sergey P Medvedev1, Alexander I Shevchenko1, Eugene A Elisaphenko1, Tatyana B Nesterova2, Neil Brockdorff2 and Suren M Zakian1*

Author Affiliations

1 SD Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Cytology and Genetics, ac. Lavrentiev ave.10, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia

2 MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, ICFM Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, W12 0NN, London, UK

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:162  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-162

Published: 11 April 2008



Oct4 is a POU-domain transcriptional factor which is essential for maintaining pluripotency in several mammalian species. The mouse, human, and bovine Oct4 orthologs display a high conservation of nucleotide sequence and genomic organization.


Here we report an isolation of a common vole (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis) Oct4 ortholog. Organization and exon-intron structure of vole Oct4 gene are similar to the gene organization in other mammalian species. It consists of five exons and a regulatory region including the minimal promoter, proximal and distal enhancers. Promoter and regulatory regions of the vole Oct4 gene also display a high similarity to the corresponding regions of Oct4 in other mammalian species, and are active during the transient transfection within luciferase reporter constructs into mouse P19 embryonic carcinoma cells and TG-2a embryonic stem cells. The vole Oct4 gene expression is detectable starting from the morula stage and until day 17 of embryonic development.


Genomic organization of this gene and its intron-exon structure in vole are identical to those in all previously studied species: it comprises five exons and the regulatory region containing several conserved elements. The activity of the Oct4 gene in vole, as well as in mouse, is confined only to pluripotent cells.