Signals and transcription factors for specification of human germ cells

Sina Jostes, Hubert Schorle


Germ cells are the origin of new organisms, since they provide the source of genetic and epigenetic information that is perpetuated from one generation to the next. Germ cells are formed during early embryogenesis and later initiate meiosis giving rise to spermatocytes or oocytes. In humans, primordial germ cell (PGC) development is initiated two weeks after implantation. However, due to ethical and technical constraints, human PGC development has not extensively been investigated.