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OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG co-regulate glycolysis and participate in somatic induced reprogramming


OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG (OSN) are the key factors of cell reprogramming, which are involved in the maintenance of stem cell pluripotency. Recently, it has been found that glycolysis plays an important role in the process of somatic-cell-induced reprogramming; however, the synergistic effect of OSN on glycolysis has rarely been reported. In this study, chicken embryonic fibroblasts (CEF) was reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by OCT4, SOX2, NANOG and LIN28 reprogramming strategy. RNA-seq showed that chicken iPSCs highly expressed pluripotent genes and the expression of the key genes of glycolysis, such as Hk1, Pfkp and Ldha, was also at a high level, while CEF was much lower. Glycolysis gene expression, glucose uptake and lactate production of CEF and iPSCs were also detected. The results showed that the glycolysis level of iPSCs was higher than that of CEF. ChIP-qPCR showed that SOX2 and NANOG transcription factors were significantly enriched in the promoter regions of Hk1, Pfkp and Ldha, while OCT4 was not. The above results indicated that OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG coordinately regulate glycolysis and participate in somatic-cell-induced reprogramming, thus setting a good foundation for further research on the molecular mechanism of somatic-cell-induced reprogramming.

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The data that supports the findings of this study are available in the supplementary material of this article. The datasets used or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31872341, 31772582), National key R & D plan of China (Grant No. 2017YFE0108000).

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Correspondence to Bichun Li.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest involved in conducting and reporting this study.

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Ding, Y., Yuan, X., Zou, Y. et al. OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG co-regulate glycolysis and participate in somatic induced reprogramming. Cytotechnology 74, 371–383 (2022).

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  • OCT4
  • SOX2
  • Glycolysis
  • Induced reprogramming