Cell-specific interaction of retinoic acid receptors with target genes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: All-trans retinoic acid (RA) induces transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-dependent autocrine growth of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We have used chromatin immunoprecipitation to map 354 RA receptor (RAR) binding loci in MEFs, most of which were similarly occupied by the RAR alpha and RAR gamma receptors. Only a subset of the genes associated with these loci are regulated by RA, among which are several critical components of the TGF-beta pathway. We also show RAR binding to a novel series of target genes involved in cell cycle regulation, transformation, and metastasis, suggesting new pathways by which RA may regulate proliferation and cancer. Few of the RAR binding loci contained consensus direct-repeat (DR)-type elements. The majority comprised either degenerate DRs or no identifiable DRs but anomalously spaced half sites. Furthermore, we identify 462 RAR target loci in embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that their occupancy is cell type specific. Our results also show that differences in the chromatin landscape regulate the accessibility of a subset of more than 700 identified loci to RARs, thus modulating the repertoire of target genes that can be regulated and the biological effects of RA.
Project description:Endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (eMSC) drive the extraordinary regenerative capacity of the human endometrium. Clinical application of eMSC for therapeutic purposes is hampered by spontaneous differentiation and cellular senescence upon large-scale expansion in vitro. A83-01, a selective transforming growth factor-? receptor (TGF?-R) inhibitor, promotes expansion of eMSC in culture by blocking differentiation and senescence, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. In this study, we combined RNA-seq and ATAC-seq to study the impact of sustained TGF?-R inhibition on gene expression and chromatin architecture of eMSC. Treatment of primary eMSC with A83-01 for 5 weeks resulted in differential expression of 1,463 genes. Gene ontology analysis showed enrichment of genes implicated in cell growth whereas extracellular matrix genes and genes involved in cell fate commitment were downregulated. ATAC-seq analysis demonstrated that sustained TGF?-R inhibition results in opening and closure of 3,555 and 2,412 chromatin loci, respectively. Motif analysis revealed marked enrichment of retinoic acid receptor (RAR) binding sites, which was paralleled by the induction of RARB, encoding retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR?). Selective RAR? inhibition attenuated proliferation and clonogenicity of A83-01 treated eMSC. Taken together, our study provides new insights into the gene networks and genome-wide chromatin changes that underpin maintenance of an undifferentiated phenotype of eMSC in prolonged culture.
Project description:PML-RAR is an oncogenic transcription factor forming in acute promyelocytic leukemias (APL) because of a chromosomal translocation. Without its ligand, retinoic acid (RA), PML-RAR functions as a constitutive transcriptional repressor, abnormally associating with the corepressor-histone deacetylase complex and blocking hematopoietic differentiation. In the presence of pharmacological concentrations of RA, PML-RAR activates transcription and stimulates differentiation. Even though it has been suggested that chromatin alteration is important for APL onset, the PML-RAR effect on chromatin of target promoters has not been investigated. Taking advantage of the Xenopus oocyte system, we compared the wild-type transcription factor RARalpha with PML-RAR as both transcriptional regulators and chromatin structure modifiers. Without RA, we found that PML-RAR is a more potent transcriptional repressor that does not require the cofactor RXR and produces a closed chromatin configuration. Surprisingly, repression by PML-RAR occurs through a further pathway that is independent of nucleosome deposition and histone deacetylation. In the presence of RA, PML-RAR is a less efficient transcriptional activator that is unable to modify the DNA nucleoprotein structure. We propose that PML-RAR, aside from its ability to recruit aberrant quantities of histone deacetylase complexes, has acquired additional repressive mechanisms and lost important activating functions; the comprehension of these mechanisms might reveal novel targets for antileukemic intervention.
Project description:Retinoids play key roles in development, differentiation, and homeostasis through regulation of specific target genes by the retinoic acid receptor/retinoid X receptor (RAR/RXR) nuclear receptor complex. Corepressors and coactivators contribute to its transcriptional control by creating the appropriate chromatin environment, but the precise composition of these nuclear receptor complexes remains to be elucidated. Using an RNA interference-based genetic screen in mouse F9 cells, we identified the transcriptional corepressor CTBP2 (C-terminal binding protein 2) as a coactivator critically required for retinoic acid (RA)-induced transcription. CTBP2 suppression by RNA interference confers resistance to RA-induced differentiation in diverse murine and human cells. Mechanistically, we find that CTBP2 associates with RAR/RXR at RA target gene promoters and is essential for their transactivation in response to RA. We show that CTBP2 is indispensable to create a chromatin environment conducive for RAR/RXR-mediated transcription by recruiting the histone acetyltransferase p300. Our data reveal an unexpected function of the corepressor CTBP2 as a coactivator for RAR/RXR in RA signaling.
Project description:We have utilized retinoic acid receptor ? (gamma) knockout (RAR?(-/-)) embryonic stem (ES) cells as a model system to analyze RAR? mediated transcriptional regulation of stem cell differentiation. Most of the transcripts regulated by all-trans retinoic acid (RA) in ES cells are dependent upon functional RAR? signaling. Notably, many of these RA-RAR? target genes are implicated in retinoid uptake and metabolism. For instance, Lrat (lecithin:retinol acyltransferase), Stra6 (stimulated by retinoic acid 6), Crabp2 (cellular retinoic acid binding protein 2), and Cyp26a1 (cytochrome p450 26a1) transcripts are induced in wild type (WT), but not in RAR?(-/-) cells. Transcripts for the transcription factors Pbx1 (pre-B cell leukemia homeobox-1), Wt1 (Wilm's tumor gene-1), and Meis1 (myeloid ecotropic viral integration site-1) increase upon RA treatment of WT, but not RAR?(-/-) cells. In contrast, Stra8, Dleu7, Leftb, Pitx2, and Cdx1 mRNAs are induced by RA even in the absence of RAR?. Mapping of the epigenetic signature of Meis1 revealed that RA induces a rapid increase in the H3K9/K14ac epigenetic mark at the proximal promoter and at two sites downstream of the transcription start site in WT, but not in RAR?(-/-) cells. Thus, RA-associated increases in H3K9/K14ac epigenetic marks require RAR? and are associated with increased Meis1 transcript levels, whereas H3K4me3 is present at the Meis1 proximal promoter even in the absence of RAR?. In contrast, at the Lrat proximal promoter primarily the H3K4me3 mark, and not the H3K9/K14ac mark, increases in response to RA, independently of the presence of RAR?. Our data show major epigenetic changes associated with addition of the RAR? agonist RA in ES cells.
Project description:Signaling molecules are important for committing individual cells into tissue-specific lineages during early vertebrate development. Retinoic acid (RA) is an important vertebrate morphogen, in that its concentration gradient is essential for correct patterning of the vertebrate embryo. RA signaling is mediated through the activation of retinoic acid receptors (RARs), which function as ligand-dependent transcription factors. In this study, we examined the molecular mechanisms of RAR-selective signaling in myogenic differentiation. We found that just like natural ligand RA, a RAR-selective ligand is an effective enhancer in the commitment of skeletal muscle lineage at the early stage of myogenic differentiation. Interestingly, the kinetics and molecular basis of the RAR-selective ligand in myogenic differentiation are similar to that of natural ligand RA. Also similar to natural ligand RA, the RAR-selective ligand enhances myogenic differentiation through β-catenin signaling pathway while inhibiting cardiac differentiation. Furthermore, while low concentrations of natural ligand RA or RAR-selective ligand regulate myogenic differentiation through RAR function and coactivator recruitment, high concentrations are critical to the expression of a model RA-responsive gene. Thus our data suggests that RAR-mediated gene regulation may be highly context-dependent, affected by locus-specific interaction or local chromatin environment.
Project description:Retinoic acid (RA) triggers physiological processes by activating heterodimeric transcription factors (TFs) comprising retinoic acid receptor (RAR?, ?, ?) and retinoid X receptor (RXR?, ?, ?). How a single signal induces highly complex temporally controlled networks that ultimately orchestrate physiological processes is unclear. Using an RA-inducible differentiation model, we defined the temporal changes in the genome-wide binding patterns of RAR? and RXR? and correlated them with transcription regulation. Unexpectedly, both receptors displayed a highly dynamic binding, with different RXR? heterodimers targeting identical loci. Comparison of RAR? and RXR? co-binding at RA-regulated genes identified putative RXR?-RAR? target genes that were validated with subtype-selective agonists. Gene-regulatory decisions during differentiation were inferred from TF-target gene information and temporal gene expression. This analysis revealed six distinct co-expression paths of which RXR?-RAR? is associated with transcription activation, while Sox2 and Egr1 were predicted to regulate repression. Finally, RXR?-RAR? regulatory networks were reconstructed through integration of functional co-citations. Our analysis provides a dynamic view of RA signalling during cell differentiation, reveals RAR heterodimer dynamics and promiscuity, and predicts decisions that diversify the RA signal into distinct gene-regulatory programs.
Project description:Pluripotency confers Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) the ability to differentiate in ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm derivatives, producing the majority of cell types. Although the majority of ESCs divide without losing pluripotency, it has become evident that ESCs culture consists of multiple cell populations with different degrees of potency that are spontaneously induced in regular ESC culture conditions. Zscan4, a key pluripotency factor, marks ESC subpopulation that is referred to as high-level of pluripotency metastate. Here, we report that in ESC cultures treated with retinoic acid (RA), Zscan4 ESCs metastate is strongly enhanced. In particular, we found that induction of Zscan4 metastate is mediated via RA receptors (RAR-alpha, RAR-beta, and RAR-gamma), and it is dependent on phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling. Remarkably, Zscan4 metastate induced by RA lacks canonical pluripotency genes Oct3/4 and Nanog but retained both self-renewal and pluripotency capabilities. Finally we demonstrated that the conditional ablation of Zscan4 subpopulation is dispensable for both endoderm and mesoderm but is required for ectoderm lineage. In conclusion, our research provides new insights about the role of RA signaling during ESCs high pluripotency metastate fluctuation.
Project description:Binding of retinoic acid (RA) to specific RA receptors alpha and beta (RAR alpha and RAR beta) was studied. Receptors were obtained in two ways: (1) full-length receptors were produced by transient expression of the respective human cDNAs in COS 1 cells; and (2) the ligand-binding domains of RAR alpha and RAR beta were produced in Escherichia coli. RA binding to the wild-type and truncated forms of the receptor was identical for both RAR alpha and RAR beta, indicating that the ligand-binding domains have retained the binding characteristics of the intact receptors. Furthermore, RA bound with the same affinity to both RAR alpha and RAR beta. Only retinoid analogues with an acidic end-group were able to actively bind to both receptors. On measuring the binding of various retinoids, we have found that the properties of the ligand-binding sites of RAR alpha and RAR beta were rather similar. Two retinoid analogues were capable of binding preferentially to either RAR alpha or RAR beta, suggesting that it may be possible to synthesize specific ligands for RAR alpha and RAR beta.
Project description:Retinoids, especially all-trans retinoic acid (RA), have been shown to inhibit the differentiation of preadipose cells. In the present study, the expression of retinoic acid receptors (RAR alpha, beta and gamma) and retinoid X receptors (RXR alpha, beta and gamma) was examined by Northern blot analysis in rat adipose tissue and mouse 3T3-L1 adipose cells. The adipose tissue and/or 3T3-L1 cells expressed mRNAs for a number of nuclear retinoid receptors, including RAR alpha, beta and gamma, and RXR alpha, beta and gamma. RAR alpha, RAR gamma, RXR alpha and RXR beta mRNAs were abundant in adipose tissue and 3T3-L1 cells. RXR gamma mRNA was detected in adipose tissue but not in 3T3-L1 cells. Treatment of 3T3-L1 cells with 1 microM RA led to a 4-5-fold increase in the RAR gamma mRNA level, but only a trace amount of RAR beta mRNA was detected. RAR gamma mRNA expression was rapidly (within 2 h) induced by physiological concentrations of RA in a dose-dependent manner. The response of RAR gamma mRNA expression to RA was reversible; rapid disappearance of RAR gamma mRNA occurred on RA removal. In addition, the induction of RAR gamma expression did not require de novo protein synthesis, but was completely abolished by an inhibitor of RNA synthesis. Using RAR gamma 1 and gamma 2 isoform-specific probes, the patterns of RAR gamma 1 and gamma 2 mRNA expression in 3T3-L1 cells in the presence and absence of RA were examined. RAR gamma 1 mRNA was detected in 3T3-L1 cells but was not affected by RA treatment; however, RAR gamma 2 mRNA was strongly induced by RA.
Project description:Retinoic acid receptors (RARs) are retinoic acid (RA)-inducible enhancer factors belonging to the superfamily of steroid/thyroid nuclear receptors. We have previously characterized two human RAR (hRAR-alpha and hRAR-beta) cDNAs and have recently cloned their murine cognates (mRAR-alpha and mRAR-beta) together with a third RAR (mRAR-gamma) whose RNA was detected predominantly in skin, a well-known target for RA. mRAR-gamma cDNA was used here to clone its human counterpart (hRAR-gamma) from a T47D breast cancer cell cDNA library. Using a transient transfection assay in HeLa cells and a reporter gene harboring a synthetic RA responsive element, we demonstrate that hRAR-gamma cDNA indeed encodes a RA-inducible transcriptional trans-activator. Interestingly, comparisons of the amino acid sequences of all six human and mouse RARs indicate that the interspecies conservation of a given member of the RAR subfamily (either alpha, beta, or gamma) is much higher than the conservation of all three receptors within a given species. These observations indicate that RAR-alpha, -beta, and -gamma may perform specific functions. We show also that hRAR-gamma RNA is the predominant RAR RNA species in human skin, which suggests that hRAR-gamma mediates some of the retinoid effects in this tissue.