Essential requirement of mammalian Pumilio family in embryonic development

Kaibo Lin, Shikun Zhang, Qinghua Shi, Mengyi Zhu, Liuze Gao, Wenjuan Xia, Baobao Geng, Zimeng Zheng, Eugene Yujun Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Mouse PUMILIO1 (PUM1) and PUMILIO2 (PUM2) belong to the PUF (PUMILIO/ FBF) family, a highly conserved RNA binding protein family whose homologues play critical roles in embryonic development and germ line stem cell maintenance in invertebrates. However, their roles in mammalian embryonic development and stem cell maintenance remained largely uncharacterized. Here we report an essential requirement of the Pum gene family in early embryonic development. A loss of both Pum1 and Pum2 genes led to gastrulation failure, resulting in embryo lethality at E8.5. Pum-deficient blastocysts, however, appeared morphologically normal, from which embryonic stem cells (ESCs) could be established. Both mutant ESCs and embryos exhibited reduced growth and increased expression of endoderm markers Gata6 and Lama1, making defects in growth and differentiation the likely causes of gastrulation failure. Furthermore, ESC Gata6 transcripts could be pulled down via PUM1 immunoprecipitation and mutation of conserved PUM-binding element on 3′UTR (untranslated region) of Gata6 enhanced the expression of luciferase reporter, implicating PUM-mediated posttranscriptional regulation of Gata6 expression in stem cell development and cell lineage determination. Hence, like its invertebrate homologues, mouse PUM proteins are conserved posttranscriptional regulators essential for embryonic and stem cell development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2922-2932
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 26 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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