Cancer-associated missense mutations enhance the pluripotency reprogramming activity of OCT4 and SOX17

Yogesh Srivastava, Daisylyn Senna Tan, Vikas Malik, Mingxi Weng, Asif Javed, Vlad Cojocaru, Guangming Wu, Veeramohan Veerapandian, Lydia W T Cheung, Ralf Jauch

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The functional consequences of cancer-associated missense mutations are unclear for the majority of proteins. We have previously demonstrated that the activity of SOX and Pit-Oct-Unc (POU) family factors during pluripotency reprogramming can be switched and enhanced with rationally placed point mutations. Here, we interrogated cancer mutation databases and identified recurrently mutated positions at critical structural interfaces of the DNA-binding domains of paralogous SOX and POU family transcription factors. Using the conversion of mouse embryonic fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells as functional readout, we identified several gain-of-function mutations that enhance pluripotency reprogramming by SOX2 and OCT4. Wild-type SOX17 cannot support reprogramming but the recurrent missense mutation SOX17-V118M is capable of inducing pluripotency. Furthermore, SOX17-V118M promotes oncogenic transformation, enhances thermostability and elevates cellular protein levels of SOX17. We conclude that the mutational profile of SOX and POU family factors in cancer can guide the design of high-performance reprogramming factors. Furthermore, we propose cellular reprogramming as a suitable assay to study the functional impact of cancer-associated mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-144
Number of pages23
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Reprogramming
  • Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology
  • Mice
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Neoplasms/genetics
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3/genetics
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors/genetics
  • SOXF Transcription Factors/genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Cancer-associated missense mutations enhance the pluripotency reprogramming activity of OCT4 and SOX17'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this