Concurrent expression of Oct4 and Nanog maintains mesenchymal stem-like property of human dental pulp cells

Chuan En Huang, Fang Wei Hu, Chuan Hang Yu, Lo Lin Tsai, Tzu Hsin Lee, Ming Yung Chou, Cheng Chia Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs), unique mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) type, exhibit the characteristics of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation capacity. Oct4 and Nanog are pluripotent genes. The aim of this study was to determine the physiological functions of Oct4 and Nanog expression in DPSCs. Herein, we determined the critical role of an Oct4/Nanog axis modulating MSCs properties of DPSCs by lentiviral-mediated co-overexpression or co-knockdown of Oct4/Nanog in DPSCs. MSCs properties including osteogenic/chondrogenic/adipogenic induction differentiation was assayed for expression of osteogenic/chondrogenic/adipogenic markers by quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis. Initially, we observed that the expression profile of Oct4 and Nanog in dental pulp cells, which exerted properties of MSCs, was significantly up-regulated compared to that of STRO-1CD146 dental pulp cells. Down-regulation of Oct4 and Nanog co-expression significantly reduced the cell proliferation, osteogenic differentiation capability, STRO-1, CD146, and Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of DPSCs. In contrast, co-overexpression of Oct4 and Nanog enhanced the expression level of STRO-1 and CD146, proliferation rate and osteogenic/chondrogenic/adipogenic induction differentiation capability, and expression of osteogenic/chondrogenic/adipogenic induction differentiation markers. Our results suggest that Oct4-Nanog signaling is a regulatory switch to maintain properties in DPSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18623-18639
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental pulp stem cells
  • Nanog
  • Oct4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Medicine


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