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Subcellular localisation of the stem cell markers OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 and c-MYC in cancer: a review
  1. Bede van Schaijik1,
  2. Paul F Davis1,
  3. Agadha C Wickremesekera1,2,
  4. Swee T Tan1,3,
  5. Tinte Itinteang1
  1. 1 Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Wellington Regional Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand
  3. 3 Wellington Regional Plastic, Maxillofacial and Burns Unit, Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tinte Itinteang, Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, Wellington 6242, New Zealand; tinte{at}


The stem cell markers octamer-binding transcription factor 4, sex-determining region Y-box 2, NANOG, Kruppel-like factor 4 and c-MYC are key factors in inducing pluripotency in somatic cells, and they have been used to detect cancer stem cell subpopulations in a range of cancer types. Recent literature has described the subcellular localisation of these markers and their potential implications on cellular function. This is a relatively complex and unexplored area of research, and the extent of the effect that subcellular localisation has on cancer development and growth is largely unknown. This review analyses this area of research in the context of the biology of stem cells and cancer and explores the potential modulating effect of subcellular localisation of these proteins as supported by the literature.

  • cancer stem cells
  • cancer research
  • c-myc oncogene
  • immunohistochemistry
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  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors TI formulated the topic of the review. BvS drafted the manuscript. All authors commented and revised the manuscript.

  • Competing interests TI, STT and PFD are inventors of the PCT patent applications (NZ2015/050108) Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy, and Cancer Therapeutic (US62/452479). The authors are otherwise not aware of any commercial associations or financial relationships that might create a conflict of interest with any information presented in this manuscript.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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