Characterization of microRNAs involved in embryonic stem cell states.
ABSTRACT: Studies of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) reveal that these cell lines can be derived from differing stages of embryonic development. We analyzed common changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and mRNAs in 9 different human ESC (hESC) lines during early commitment and further examined the expression of key ESCenriched miRNAs in earlier developmental states in several species. We show that several previously defined hESC-enriched miRNA groups (the miR-302, -17, and -515 families, and the miR-371-373 cluster) and several other hESC-enriched miRNAs are down-regulated rapidly in response to differentiation. We further found that mRNAs up-regulated upon differentiation are enriched in potential target sites for these hESC-enriched miRNAs. Interestingly, we also observed that the expression of ESC-enriched miRNAs bearing identical seed sequences changed dynamically while the cells transitioned through early embryonic states. In human and monkey ESCs, as well as human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the miR-371-373 cluster was consistently up-regulated, while the miR-302 family was mildly down-regulated when the cells were chemically treated to regress to an earlier developmental state. Similarly, miR-302b, but not mmu-miR-295, was expressed at higher levels in murine epiblast stem cells (mEpiSC) as compared with an earlier developmental state, mouse ESCs. These results raise the possibility that the relative expression of related miRNAs might serve as diagnostic indicators in defining the developmental state of embryonic cells and other stem cell lines, such as iPSCs. These data also raise the possibility that miRNAs bearing identical seed sequences could have specific functions during separable stages of early embryonic development.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) belonging to the evolutionary conserved miR-302 family play important functions in Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs). The expression of some members, such as the human miR-302 and mouse miR-290 clusters, is regulated by ESC core transcription factors. However, whether miRNAs act downstream of signaling pathways involved in human ESC pluripotency remains unknown. The maintenance of pluripotency in hESCs is under the control of the TGF? pathway. Here, we show that inhibition of the Activin/Nodal branch of this pathway affects the expression of a subset of miRNAs in hESCs. Among them, we found miR-373, a member of the miR-302 family. Proper levels of miR-373 are crucial for the maintenance of hESC pluripotency, since its overexpression leads to differentiation towards the mesendodermal lineage. Among miR-373 predicted targets, involved in TGF? signaling, we validated the Nodal inhibitor Lefty. Our work suggests a crucial role for the interplay between miRNAs and signaling pathways in ESCs.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are the effectors of a conserved gene-silencing system with broad roles in post-transcriptional regulation. Due to functional overlaps, assigning specific functions to individual miRNAs has been challenging. DICER1 cleaves pre-miRNA hairpins into mature miRNAs, and previously Dicer1 knockout mouse embryonic stem cells have been generated to study miRNA function in early mouse development. Here we report an essential requirement of DICER1 for the self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Utilizing a conditional knockout approach, we found that DICER1 deletion led to increased death receptor-mediated apoptosis and failure of hESC self-renewal. We further devised a targeted miRNA screening strategy and uncovered essential pro-survival roles of members of the mir-302-367 and mir-371-373 clusters that bear the seed sequence AAGUGC. This platform is uniquely suitable for dissecting the roles of individual miRNAs in hESC self-renewal and differentiation, which may help us better understand the early development of human embryos.
Project description:Expression of the mouse miR-290-295 cluster and its miR-371-373 homolog in human is restricted to early embryos, primordial germ cells, the germ line stem cell compartment of the adult testis and to stem cell lines derived from the early embryonic lineages. Sequencing data suggest considerable seed diversification between the seven homologous pre-miRNAs of miR-290-295 but it is not clear if all of the implied miR-290-295 seeds are also conserved in the human miR-371-373 cluster, which consists of only three homologous pre-miRNAs. By employing miRNA target reporters we show that most, if not all, seeds in miR-290-295 are represented in miR-371-373. In the mouse, pre-miR-290, pre-miR-292 and pre-miR-293 express subsets of the miRNA isoforms processed from the single human pre-miR-371. Comparison of the possible miR-290-295/miR-371-373 seed repertoires in placental mammals suggests a model for the evolution of this miRNA cluster family, which would be otherwise difficult to deduce based solely on pre-miRNA sequence comparisons. The conservation of co-expressed seeds that is characteristic of miR-290-295/miR-371-373 should be taken into account in models of the corresponding miRNA-target interaction networks.
Project description:Naïve human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) resemble the embryonic epiblast at an earlier time-point in development than conventional, 'primed' hPSC. We present a comprehensive miRNA profiling of naïve-to-primed transition in hPSC, a process recapitulating aspects of early in vivo embryogenesis. We identify miR-143-3p and miR-22-3p as markers of the naïve state and miR-363-5p, several members of the miR-17 family, miR-302 family as primed markers. We uncover that miR-371-373 are highly expressed in naïve hPSC. MiR-371-373 are the human homologs of the mouse miR-290 family, which are the most highly expressed miRNAs in naïve mouse PSC. This aligns with the consensus that naïve hPSC resemble mouse naive PSC, showing that the absence of miR-371-373 in conventional hPSC is due to cell state rather than a species difference.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a newly discovered endogenous class of small noncoding RNAs that play important posttranscriptional regulatory roles by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. Accumulating evidence now supports the importance of miRNAs for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) self-renewal, pluripotency, and differentiation. However, with respect to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), in which embryonic-like cells are reprogrammed from adult cells using defined factors, the role of miRNAs during reprogramming has not been well-characterized. Determining the miRNAs that are associated with reprogramming should yield significant insight into the specific miRNA expression patterns that are required for pluripotency. To address this lack of knowledge, we use miRNA microarrays to compare the "microRNA-omes" of human iPSCs, hESCs, and fetal fibroblasts. We confirm the presence of a signature group of miRNAs that is up-regulated in both iPSCs and hESCs, such as the miR-302 and 17-92 clusters. We also highlight differences between the two pluripotent cell types, as in expression of the miR-371/372/373 cluster. In addition to histone modifications, promoter methylation, transcription factors, and other regulatory control elements, we believe these miRNA signatures of pluripotent cells likely represent another layer of regulatory control over cell fate decisions, and should prove important for the cellular reprogramming field.
Project description:Enhanced glycolysis is a main feature of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) and is proposed to be important for the maintenance and induction of pluripotency. The molecular mechanism underlying enhanced glycolysis in PSCs is not clear. Using Dgcr8-/- mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) that lack mature miRNAs, we found that miR-290 cluster of miRNAs stimulates glycolysis by upregulating glycolytic enzymes Pkm2 and Ldha, which are also essential for the induction of pluripotency during reprogramming. Mechanistically, we identified Mbd2, a reader for methylated CpGs, as the target of miR-290 cluster that represses glycolysis and reprogramming. Furthermore, we discovered Myc as a key target of Mbd2 that controls metabolic switch in ESCs. Importantly, we demonstrated that miR-371 cluster, a human homolog of miR-290 cluster, stimulates glycolysis to promote the reprogramming of human fibroblasts. Hence, we identified a previously unappreciated mechanism by which miR-290/371 miRNAs orchestrate epigenetic, transcriptional and metabolic networks to promote pluripotency in PSCs and during reprogramming.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRs) negatively regulate transcription and are important determinants of normal heart development and heart failure pathogenesis. Despite the significant knowledge gained in mouse studies, their functional roles in human (h) heart remain elusive.We hypothesized that miRs that figure prominently in cardiac differentiation are differentially expressed in differentiating, developing, and terminally mature human cardiomyocytes (CMs). As a first step, we mapped the miR profiles of human (h) embryonic stem cells (ESCs), hESC-derived (hE), fetal (hF) and adult (hA) ventricular (V) CMs. 63 miRs were differentially expressed between hESCs and hE-VCMs. Of these, 29, including the miR-302 and -371/372/373 clusters, were associated with pluripotency and uniquely expressed in hESCs. Of the remaining miRs differentially expressed in hE-VCMs, 23 continued to express highly in hF- and hA-VCMs, with miR-1, -133, and -499 displaying the largest fold differences; others such as miR-let-7a, -let-7b, -26b, -125a and -143 were non-cardiac specific. Functionally, LV-miR-499 transduction of hESC-derived cardiovascular progenitors significantly increased the yield of hE-VCMs (to 72% from 48% of control; p<0.05) and contractile protein expression without affecting their electrophysiological properties (p>0.05). By contrast, LV-miR-1 transduction did not bias the yield (p>0.05) but decreased APD and hyperpolarized RMP/MDP in hE-VCMs due to increased I(to), I(Ks) and I(Kr), and decreased I(f) (p<0.05) as signs of functional maturation. Also, LV-miR-1 but not -499 augmented the immature Ca(2+) transient amplitude and kinetics. Molecular pathway analyses were performed for further insights.We conclude that miR-1 and -499 play differential roles in cardiac differentiation of hESCs in a context-dependent fashion. While miR-499 promotes ventricular specification of hESCs, miR-1 serves to facilitate electrophysiological maturation.
Project description:Induction of endogenous cardiomyocyte (CM) proliferation is one of the key strategies for heart regeneration. Increasing evidence points to the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of CM proliferation. Here, we used human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived CMs (hESC-CMs) as a tool to identify miRNAs that promote CM proliferation. We profiled miRNA expression at an early stage of CM differentiation and identified a list of highly expressed miRNAs. Among these miRNAs, miR-25 was enriched in early-stage hESC-CMs, but its expression decreased over time. Overexpression of miR-25 promoted CM proliferation. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed that genes related to cell-cycle signal were strongly influenced by miR-25 overexpression. We further showed that miR-25 promoted CM proliferation by targeting FBXW7. Finally, the function of miR-25 in the regulation of CM proliferation was demonstrated in zebrafish. Our study suggested that miR-25 is a promising molecule for heart regeneration.
Project description:BACKGROUND/AIMS: microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate cognate mRNAs post-transcriptionally. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC), which exhibit the characteristics of pluripotency and self-renewal, may serve as a model to study the role of miRNAs in early human development. We aimed to determine whether endodermally-differentiated hESC demonstrate a unique miRNA expression pattern, and whether overexpression of endoderm-specific miRNA may affect hESC differentiation. METHODS: miRNA expression was profiled in undifferentiated and NaButyrate-induced differentiated hESC of two lines, using microarray and quantitative RT-PCR. Then, the effect of lentiviral-based overexpression of liver-specific miR-122 on hESC differentiation was analyzed, using genomewide gene microarrays. RESULTS: The miRNA profiling revealed expression of three novel miRNAs in undifferentiated and differentiated hESC. Upon NaButyrate induction, two of the most upregulated miRNAs common to both cell lines were miR-24 and miR-10a, whose target genes have been shown to inhibit endodermal differentiation. Furthermore, induction of several liver-enriched miRNAs, including miR-122 and miR-192, was observed in parallel to induction of endodermal gene expression. Stable overexpression of miR-122 in hESC was unable to direct spontaneous differentiation towards a clear endodermal fate, but rather, delayed general differentiation of these cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that expression of specific miRNAs correlates with that of specific genes upon differentiation, and highlight the potential role of miRNAs in endodermal differentiation of hESC.
Project description:Despite their extensive clinical and pathologic heterogeneity, all malignant germ cell tumors (GCT) are thought to originate from primordial germ cells. However, no common biological abnormalities have been identified to date. We profiled 615 microRNAs (miRNA) in pediatric malignant GCTs, controls, and GCT cell lines (48 samples in total) and re-analyzed available miRNA expression data in adult gonadal malignant GCTs. We applied the bioinformatic algorithm Sylamer to identify miRNAs that are of biological importance by inducing global shifts in mRNA levels. The most significant differentially expressed miRNAs in malignant GCTs were all from the miR-371-373 and miR-302 clusters (adjusted P < 0.00005), which were overexpressed regardless of histologic subtype [yolk sac tumor (YST)/seminoma/embryonal carcinoma (EC)], site (gonadal/extragonadal), or patient age (pediatric/adult). Sylamer revealed that the hexamer GCACTT, complementary to the 2- to 7-nucleotide miRNA seed AAGUGC shared by six members of the miR-371-373 and miR-302 clusters, was the only sequence significantly enriched in the 3'-untranslated region of mRNAs downregulated in pediatric malignant GCTs (as a group), YSTs and ECs, and in adult YSTs (all versus nonmalignant tissue controls; P < 0.05). For the pediatric samples, downregulated genes containing the 3'-untranslated region GCACTT showed significant overrepresentation of Gene Ontology terms related to cancer-associated processes, whereas for downregulated genes lacking GCACTT, Gene Ontology terms generally represented metabolic processes only, with few genes per term (adjusted P < 0.05). We conclude that the miR-371-373 and miR-302 clusters are universally overexpressed in malignant GCTs and coordinately downregulate mRNAs involved in biologically significant pathways.