Dynamic GATA6 expression in primitive endoderm formation and maturation in early mouse embryogenesis.
ABSTRACT: The derivation of the primitive endoderm layer from the pluripotent cells of the inner cell mass is one of the earliest differentiation and morphogenic events in embryonic development. GATA4 and GATA6 are the key transcription factors in the formation of extraembryonic endoderms, but their specific contribution to the derivation of each endoderm lineage needs clarification. We further analyzed the dynamic expression and mutant phenotypes of GATA6 in early mouse embryos. GATA6 and GATA4 are both expressed in primitive endoderm cells initially. At embryonic day (E) 5.0, parietal endoderm cells continue to express both GATA4 and GATA6; however, visceral endoderm cells express GATA4 but exhibit a reduced expression of GATA6. By and after E5.5, visceral endoderm cells no longer express GATA6. We also found that GATA6 null embryos did not form a morphologically recognizable primitive endoderm layer, and subsequently failed to form visceral and parietal endoderms. Thus, the current study establishes that GATA6 is essential for the formation of primitive endoderm, at a much earlier stage then previously recognized, and expression of GATA6 discriminates parietal endoderm from visceral endoderm lineages.
Project description:Background. Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells can be differentiated in vitro by aggregation and/or retinoic acid (RA) treatment. The principal differentiation lineage in vitro is extraembryonic primitive endoderm. Dab2, Laminin, GATA4, GATA5, and GATA6 are expressed in embryonic primitive endoderm and play critical roles in its lineage commitment. Results. We found that in the absence of GATA4 or GATA5, RA-induced primitive endoderm differentiation of ES cells was reduced. GATA4 (-/-) ES cells express higher level of GATA5, GATA6, and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha marker of visceral endoderm lineage. GATA5 (-/-) ES cells express higher level of alpha fetoprotein marker of early liver development. GATA6 (-/-) ES cells express higher level of GATA5 as well as mesoderm and cardiomyocyte markers which are collagen III alpha-1 and tropomyosin1 alpha. Thus, deletion of GATA6 precluded endoderm differentiation but promoted mesoderm lineages. Conclusions. GATA4, GATA5, and GATA6 each convey a unique gene expression pattern and influences ES cell differentiation. We showed that ES cells can be directed to avoid differentiating into primitive endoderm and to adopt unique lineages in vitro by modulating GATA factors. The finding offers a potential approach to produce desirable cell types from ES cells, useful for regenerative cell therapy.
Project description:The enzyme P450c17 is required for glucocorticoid, sex steroid, and some neurosteroid biosynthesis. Defective human P450c17 causes sexual infantilism and 46,XY sex reversal but is compatible with life, whereas ablation of the corresponding mouse gene causes embryonic lethality at around E7. Normal mouse embryos express P450c17 protein and activity in the embryonic endoderm at E7. Adult adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis requires steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1), but SF-1 is not expressed in the early mouse embryo. We show that P450c17 is expressed in differentiated mouse parietal and visceral endoderm lineages, in cultured mouse F9 embryonic carcinoma stem cells, in mouse embryonic stem cells, and in cultured mouse P19 stem cells. Bases -110 to -55 (which contain an SF-1 site and two potential GATA sites) of the rat cyp17 gene confer promoter activity in F9 cells. Overexpression of SF-1 has no effect, whereas overexpression of GATA4 in F9 cells increases transcription from -110/-55 fused to a reporter and increases endogenous P450c17 mRNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that GATA4 binds to -215/+55 of mouse cyp17. Stimulating F9 cells with retinoic acid and cAMP differentiates them into visceral and parietal endoderm. Commensurate with cell differentiation, quantitative PCR showed increased GATA4 and GATA6 mRNAs, temporally followed by increased P450c17 mRNA. Small interfering RNA inhibition of GATA4 or GATA6 in undifferentiated or differentiated F9 cells diminished endogenous cyp17 expression. Thus, P450c17 is expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells, its expression increases upon differentiation to an early embryonic endoderm lineage, and GATA4/6 are responsible for activation of P450c17 gene expression at this early stage of embryonic development.
Project description:Cells of the primitive endoderm (PrE) and the pluripotent epiblast (EPI), the two lineages specified within the inner cell mass (ICM) of the mouse blastocyst stage embryo, are segregated into adjacent tissue layers by the end of the preimplantation period. The PrE layer which emerges as a polarized epithelium adjacent to the blastocoel, with a basement membrane separating it from the EPI, has two derivatives, the visceral and parietal endoderm. In this study we have investigated the localization of two transcriptional regulators of the SOX family, SOX17 and SOX7, within the PrE and its derivatives. We noted that SOX17 was first detected in a salt-and-pepper distribution within the ICM, subsequently becoming restricted to the nascent PrE epithelium. This dynamic distribution of SOX17 resembled the localization of GATA6 and GATA4, two other PrE lineage-specific transcription factors. By contrast, SOX7 was only detected in PrE cells positioned in contact with the blastocoel, raising the possibility that these cells are molecularly distinct. Our observations support a model of sequential GATA6 > SOX17 > GATA4 > SOX7 transcription factor activation within the PrE lineage, perhaps correlating with the consecutive periods of cell lineage 'naïvete', commitment and sorting. Furthermore our data suggest that co-expression of SOX17 and SOX7 within sorted PrE cells could account for the absence of a detectable phenotype of Sox17 mutant blastocysts. However, analysis of implantation-delayed blastocysts, revealed a role for SOX17 in the maintenance of PrE epithelial integrity, with the absence of SOX17 leading to premature delamination and migration of parietal endoderm.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Three types of cell lines have been established from mouse blastocysts: embryonic stem (ES) cells, trophoblast stem (TS) cells, and extra-embryonic endoderm (XEN) cells, which have the potential to differentiate into their respective cognate lineages. ES cells can differentiate in vitro not only into somatic cell lineages but into extra-embryonic lineages, including trophectoderm and extra-embryonic endoderm (ExEn) as well. TS cells can be established from ES cells by the artificial repression of Oct3/4 or the upregulation of Cdx2 in the presence of FGF4 on feeder cells. The relationship between these embryo-derived XEN cells and ES cell-derived ExEn cell lines remains unclear, although we have previously reported that overexpression of Gata4 or Gata6 induces differentiation of mouse ES cells into extra-embryonic endoderm in vitro. RESULTS: A system in which GATA factors were conditionally activated revealed that the cells continue to proliferate while expressing a set of extra-embryonic endoderm markers, and, following injection into blastocysts, contribute only to the extra-embryonic endoderm lineage in vivo. Although the in vivo contribution is limited to cells of parietal endoderm lineage, Gata-induced extra-embryonic endoderm cells (gExEn) can be induced to differentiate into visceral endoderm-like cells in vitro by repression of Gata6. During early passage, the propagation of gExEn cells is dependent on the expression of the Gata6 transgene. These cells, however, lose this dependency following establishment of endogenous Gata6 expression. CONCLUSION: We show here that Gata-induced extra-embryonic endoderm cells derived from ES cells mimic the character of XEN cells. These findings indicate that Gata transcription factors are sufficient for the derivation and propagation of XEN-like extra-embryonic endoderm cells from ES cells.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To date, many efforts have been made to establish porcine embryonic stem (pES) cells without success. Extraembryonic endoderm (XEN) cells can self-renew and differentiate into the visceral endoderm and parietal endoderm. XEN cells are derived from the primitive endoderm of the inner cell mass of blastocysts and may be an intermediate state in cell reprogramming. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Porcine XEN cells (pXENCs) were generated from porcine pluripotent stem cells (pPSCs) and were characterized by RNA sequencing and immunofluorescence analyses. The developmental potential of pXENCs was investigated in chimeric mouse embryos. RESULTS:Porcine XEN cells derived from porcine pPSCs were successfully expanded in N2B27 medium supplemented with bFGF for least 30 passages. RNA sequencing and immunofluorescence analyses showed that pXENCs expressed the murine and canine XEN markers Gata6, Gata4, Sox17 and Pdgfra but not the pluripotent markers Oct4, Sox2 and TE marker Cdx2. Moreover, these cells contributed to the XEN when injected into four-cell stage mouse embryos. Supplementation with Chir99021 and SB431542 promoted the pluripotency of the pXENCs. CONCLUSIONS:We successfully derived pXENCs and showed that supplementation with Chir99021 and SB431542 confer them with pluripotency. Our results provide a new resource for investigating the reprogramming mechanism of porcine-induced pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:We report for the first time, the derivation and characterization of extra-embryonic endoderm (XEN) cells from primitive endoderm (PrE) of porcine (p) embryos. The pXEN cells can be reliably and reproducibly generated from parthenogenic, in vitro or in vivo derived embryos, and express canonical PrE or XEN cell genes (GATA4, GATA6, SOX17, SALL4, FOXA2, and HNF4A). Transcriptome analysis of pXEN cells revealed close resemblance to yolk sac than any other embryonic or extraembryonic tissue. When introduced into blastocyst stage embryo, the pXEN cells contributed to wide-spread chimerism including visceral yolk sac, chorion, as well as embryonic gut and liver primordium in the fetus. The pXEN cells were shown to be an efficient nuclear donor for generating cloned offspring. Taken together, pXEN cells fulfil a longstanding need for a stable, chimera-competent, and nuclear transfer-compatible porcine embryonic cells with applications for genome editing in livestock. Overall design: We collected samples at four tissues (eXtraEmbryonic eNdoderm stem (XEN) cells from primitive endoderm of an in vivo blastocyst, XEN cells from primitive endoderm of in vitro parthenogenetic (PG) blastocyst, a Day 7 IVF blastocyst and D28 Yolk Sac from AI) for each treatment and for each tissue we had three biological replicates.
Project description:Prior to gastrulation in the mouse, all endodermal cells arise from the primitive endoderm of the blastocyst stage embryo. Primitive endoderm and its derivatives are generally referred to as extra-embryonic endoderm (ExEn) because the majority of these cells contribute to extra-embryonic lineages encompassing the visceral endoderm (VE) and the parietal endoderm (PE). During gastrulation, the definitive endoderm (DE) forms by ingression of cells from the epiblast. The DE comprises most of the cells of the gut and its accessory organs. Despite their different origins and fates, there is a surprising amount of overlap in marker expression between the ExEn and DE, making it difficult to distinguish between these cell types by marker analysis. This is significant for two main reasons. First, because endodermal organs, such as the liver and pancreas, play important physiological roles in adult animals, much experimental effort has been directed in recent years toward the establishment of protocols for the efficient derivation of endodermal cell types in vitro. Conversely, factors secreted by the VE play pivotal roles that cannot be attributed to the DE in early axis formation, heart formation and the patterning of the anterior nervous system. Thus, efforts in both of these areas have been hampered by a lack of markers that clearly distinguish between ExEn and DE. To further understand the ExEn we have undertaken a comparative analysis of three ExEn-like cell lines (END2, PYS2 and XEN). PYS2 cells are derived from embryonal carcinomas (EC) of 129 strain mice and have been characterized as parietal endoderm-like , END2 cells are derived from P19 ECs and described as visceral endoderm-like, while XEN cells are derived from blastocyst stage embryos and are described as primitive endoderm-like. Our analysis suggests that none of these cell lines represent a bona fide single in vivo lineage. Both PYS2 and XEN cells represent mixed populations expressing markers for several ExEn lineages. Conversely END2 cells, which were previously characterized as VE-like, fail to express many markers that are widely expressed in the VE, but instead express markers for only a subset of the VE, the anterior visceral endoderm. In addition END2 cells also express markers for the PE. We extended these observations with microarray analysis which was used to probe and refine previously published data sets of genes proposed to distinguish between DE and VE. Finally, genome-wide pathway analysis revealed that SMAD-independent TGFbeta signaling through a TAK1/p38/JNK or TAK1/NLK pathway may represent one mode of intracellular signaling shared by all three of these lines, and suggests that factors downstream of these pathways may mediate some functions of the ExEn. These studies represent the first step in the development of XEN cells as a powerful molecular genetic tool to study the endodermal signals that mediate the important developmental functions of the extra-embryonic endoderm. Our data refine our current knowledge of markers that distinguish various subtypes of endoderm. In addition, pathway analysis suggests that the ExEn may mediate some of its functions through a non-classical MAP Kinase signaling pathway downstream of TAK1.
Project description:The zinc-finger transcription factors GATA4 and GATA6 play critical roles in embryonic development. Mouse embryos lacking GATA4 die at embryonic day (E) 8.5 because of failure of ventral foregut closure and cardiac bifida, whereas GATA6 is essential for development of the visceral endoderm. Although mice that are heterozygous for either a GATA4 or GATA6 null allele are normal, we show that compound heterozygosity of GATA4 and GATA6 results in embryonic lethality by E13.5 accompanied by a spectrum of cardiovascular defects, including thin-walled myocardium, ventricular and aortopulmonary septal defects, and abnormal smooth muscle development. Myocardial hypoplasia in GATA4/GATA6 double heterozygous mutant embryos is associated with reduced proliferation of cardiomyocytes, diminished expression of the myogenic transcription factor MEF2C (myocyte enhancer factor 2C), and down-regulation of beta-myosin heavy chain expression, a key determinant of cardiac contractility. These findings reveal a threshold of GATA4 and GATA6 activity that is required for gene expression in the developing cardiovascular system and underscore the potential of recessive mutations to perturb the delicate regulation of cardiovascular development.
Project description:The inner cell mass of the mouse pre-implantation blastocyst comprises epiblast progenitor and primitive endoderm cells of which cognate embryonic (mESCs) or extra-embryonic (XEN) stem cell lines can be derived. Importantly, each stem cell type retains the defining properties and lineage restriction of their in vivo tissue of origin. Recently, we demonstrated that XEN-like cells arise within mESC cultures. This raises the possibility that mESCs can generate self-renewing XEN cells without the requirement for gene manipulation. We have developed a novel approach to convert mESCs to XEN cells (cXEN) using growth factors. We confirm that the downregulation of the pluripotency transcription factor Nanog and the expression of primitive endoderm-associated genes Gata6, Gata4, Sox17 and Pdgfra are necessary for cXEN cell derivation. This approach highlights an important function for Fgf4 in cXEN cell derivation. Paracrine FGF signalling compensates for the loss of endogenous Fgf4, which is necessary to exit mESC self-renewal, but not for XEN cell maintenance. Our cXEN protocol also reveals that distinct pluripotent stem cells respond uniquely to differentiation promoting signals. cXEN cells can be derived from mESCs cultured with Erk and Gsk3 inhibitors (2i), and LIF, similar to conventional mESCs. However, we find that epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) derived from the post-implantation embryo are refractory to cXEN cell establishment, consistent with the hypothesis that EpiSCs represent a pluripotent state distinct from mESCs. In all, these findings suggest that the potential of mESCs includes the capacity to give rise to both extra-embryonic and embryonic lineages.
Project description:The transcription factor Gata4 is essential for normal heart morphogenesis and regulates the survival, growth, and proliferation of cardiomyocytes. We tested if Gata4 can specify cardiomyocyte fate from an uncommitted stem or progenitor cell population, by developing a system for conditional expression of Gata4 in embryonic stem cells. We find that in embryoid body cultures containing even a low ratio of these cells, expression of Gata4 is sufficient to enhance significantly the generation of cardiomyocytes, via a non-cell-autonomous mechanism. The Gata4-expressing cells do not generate cardiac or other mesoderm derivatives. Rather, Gata4 expression directs the development of two types of Sox17+ endoderm. This includes an epCam+Dpp4+ subtype of visceral endoderm. In addition, Gata4 generates similar amounts of epCam+Dpp4- definitive endoderm enriched for Cxcr4, FoxA2, FoxA3, Dlx5 and other characteristic transcripts. Both types of endoderm express cardiac-inducing factors, including WNT antagonists Dkk1 and Sfrp5, although the visceral endoderm subtype has much higher cardiac-inducing activity correlating with relatively enhanced levels of transcripts encoding BMPs. The Gata4-expressing cells eventually express differentiation markers showing commitment to liver development, even under conditions that normally support mesoderm development. The results suggest that Gata4 is capable of specifying endoderm fates that facilitate, with temporal and spatial specificity, the generation of cardiomyocyte progenitors from associated mesoderm.