RAR? is essential for retinoic acid induced chromatin remodeling and transcriptional activation in embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: 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:Polycomb proteins play key roles in mediating epigenetic modifications that occur during cell differentiation. The Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) mediates the tri-methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3). In this study, we identify a distinguishing feature of two classes of PRC2 target genes, represented by the Nr2F1 (Coup-TF1) and the Hoxa5 gene, respectively. Both genes are transcriptionally activated by all-trans retinoic acid (RA) and display increased levels of the permissive H3K9/K14ac and tri-methylated histone H3 lysine 4 epigenetic marks in response to RA. However, while in response to RA the PRC2 and H3K27me3 marks are greatly decreased at the Hoxa5 promoter, these marks are initially increased at the Nr2F1 promoter. Functional depletion of the essential PRC2 protein Suz12 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) technology enhanced the RA-associated transcription of Nr2F1, Nr2F2, Meis1, Sox9 and BMP2, but had no effect on the Hoxa5, Hoxa1, Cyp26a1, Cyp26b1 and RAR?2 transcript levels in wild-type embryonic stem cells. We propose that PRC2 recruitment attenuates the RA-associated transcriptional activation of a subset of genes. Such a mechanism would permit the fine-tuning of transcriptional networks during differentiation.
Project description:Retinoic acid (RA) regulates clustered Hox gene expression during embryogenesis and is required to establish the anterior-posterior body plan. Using mutant embryonic stem cell lines deficient in the RA receptor ? (RAR?) or Hoxa1 3'-RA-responsive element, we studied the kinetics of transcriptional and epigenomic patterning responses to RA. RAR? is essential for RA-induced Hox transcriptional activation, and deletion of its binding site in the Hoxa1 enhancer attenuates transcriptional and epigenomic activation of both Hoxa and Hoxb gene clusters. The kinetics of epigenomic reorganization demonstrate that complete erasure of the polycomb repressive mark H3K27me3 is not necessary to initiate Hox transcription. RAR? is not required to establish the bivalent character of Hox clusters, but RA/RAR? signaling is necessary to erase H3K27me3 from activated Hox genes during embryonic stem cell differentiation. Highly coordinated, long range epigenetic Hox cluster reorganization is closely linked to transcriptional activation and is triggered by RAR? located at the Hoxa1 3'-RA-responsive element.
Project description:All-trans retinoic acid (RA) signals via binding to retinoic acid receptors (RARs ?, ?, and ?). RA directly influences expression of Pdx1, a transcription factor essential for pancreatic development and beta-cell (?-cell) maturation. In this study we follow the differentiation of cultured wild-type (WT) vs. RAR? knockout (KO) embryonic stem (ES) cells into pancreatic islet cells. We found that RAR? KO ES cells show greatly reduced expression of some important endocrine markers of differentiated islet cells, such as glucagon, islet amyloid polypeptide (Iapp), and insulin 1 (Ins1) relative to WT. We conclude that RAR? activity is essential for proper differentiation of ES cells to pancreatic endocrine cells.
Project description:Retinoic acid receptors (RARs) α, β and γ are key regulators of embryonic development. Hematopoietic differentiation is regulated by RARα, and several types of leukemia show aberrant RARα activity. Through microarray expression analysis, we identified transcripts differentially expressed between F9 wild-type (Wt) and RARα knockout cells cultured in the absence or presence of the RAR-specific ligand all trans retinoic acid (RA). We validated the decreased Mest, Tex13, Gab1, Bcl11a, Tcfap2a and HMGcs1 transcript levels, and increased Slc38a4, Stmn2, RpL39l, Ref2L, Mobp and Rlf1 transcript levels in the RARa knockout cells. The decreased Mest and Tex13 transcript levels were associated with increased promoter CpG-island methylation and increased repressive histone modifications (H3K9me3) in RARα knockout cells. Increased Slc38a4 and Stmn2 transcript levels were associated with decreased promoter CpG-island methylation and increased permissive histone modifications (H3K9/K14ac, H3K4me3) in RARα knockout cells. We demonstrated specific association of RARα and RXRα with the Mest promoter. Importantly, stable expression of a dominant negative, oncogenic PML-RARα fusion protein in F9 Wt cells recapitulated the decreased Mest transcript levels observed in RARα knockout cells. We propose that RARα plays an important role in cellular memory and imprinting by regulating the CpG methylation status of specific promoter regions.
Project description:The present study extends an earlier report that retinoic acid (RA) down-regulates IgE Ab synthesis in vitro. Here, we show the suppressive activity of RA on IgE production in vivo and its underlying mechanisms. We found that RA down-regulated IgE class switching recombination (CSR) mainly through RA receptor ? (RAR?). Additionally, RA inhibited histone acetylation of germ-line ? (GL ?) promoter, leading to suppression of IgE CSR. Consistently, serum IgE levels were substantially elevated in vitamin A-deficient (VAD) mice and this was more dramatic in VAD-lecithin:retinol acyltransferase deficient (LRAT-/-) mice. Further, serum mouse mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1) level was elevated while frequency of intestinal regulatory T cells (Tregs) were diminished in VAD LRAT-/- mice, reflecting that deprivation of RA leads to allergic immune response. Taken together, our results reveal that RA has an IgE-repressive activity in vivo, which may ameliorate IgE-mediated allergic disease.
Project description:The proto-oncogene c-jun, a major component of transcription factor AP-1, is expressed at very low levels in undifferentiated embryonal carcinoma (EC) end embryonic stem (ES) cells. Retinoic acid (RA) induced differentiation causes a strong increase in the levels of c-jun mRNA. In this paper we report the cloning and characterization of the mouse c-jun promoter. Our results show that RA treatment causes a strong enhancement in c-jun promoter activity, an effect probably mediated by the RA-receptor beta (RAR beta). Sequences located between -329 and -293 are responsible for the observed RA effect, and bind at least five different protein complexes, of which three are decreased upon RA treatment. These protein binding sites do not resemble RA-responsive elements (RARE's) found in the promoters of retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR beta) and laminin B1. Furthermore, we could not detect a direct interaction of RAR alpha and RAR beta to these sequences, indicating that RA-induced c-jun expression is an indirect effect of RAR action.
Project description:Identification of target genes that mediate required functions downstream of transcription factors is hampered by the large number of genes whose expression changes when the factor is removed from a specific tissue and the numerous binding sites for the factor in the genome. Retinoic acid (RA) regulates transcription via RA receptors bound to RA response elements (RAREs) of which there are thousands in vertebrate genomes. Here, we combined chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) for epigenetic marks and RNA-seq on trunk tissue from wild-type and Aldh1a2-/- embryos lacking RA synthesis that exhibit body axis and forelimb defects. We identified a relatively small number of genes with altered expression when RA is missing that also have nearby RA-regulated deposition of histone H3 K27 acetylation (H3K27ac) (gene activation mark) or histone H3 K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) (gene repression mark) associated with conserved RAREs, suggesting these genes function downstream of RA. RA-regulated epigenetic marks were identified near RA target genes already known to be required for body axis and limb formation, thus validating our approach; plus, many other candidate RA target genes were found. Nuclear receptor 2f1 (Nr2f1) and nuclear receptor 2f2 (Nr2f2) in addition to Meis homeobox 1 (Meis1) and Meis homeobox 2 (Meis2) gene family members were identified by our approach, and double knockouts of each family demonstrated previously unknown requirements for body axis and/or limb formation. A similar epigenetic approach can be used to determine the target genes for any transcriptional regulator for which a knockout is available.
Project description: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:Male germ cell tumors (GCTs) are a model for a curable solid tumor. GCTs can differentiate into mature teratomas. Embryonal carcinomas (ECs) represent the stem cell compartment of GCTs and are the malignant counterpart to embryonic stem (ES) cells. GCTs and EC cells are useful to investigate differentiation therapy and chemotherapy response. This study explored mechanistic interactions between all-trans-retinoic acid (RA), which induces differentiation of EC and ES cells, and the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway, a regulator of self-renewal and proliferation. RA was found to induce mRNA and protein expression of Patched 1 (Ptch1), the Hh ligand receptor and negative regulator of this pathway. PTCH1 is also a target gene of Hh signaling through Smoothened (Smo) activation. Yet, this observed RA-mediated Ptch1 induction was independent of Smo. It occurred despite co-treatment with RA and Smo inhibitors. Retinoid induction of Ptch1 also occurred in other RA-responsive cancer cell lines and in normal ES cells. Notably, this enhanced Ptch1 expression was preceded by induction of the homeobox transcription factor Meis1, a direct RA target. Direct interaction between Meis1 and Ptch1 was confirmed using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. To establish the translational relevance of this work, Ptch1 expression was shown to be deregulated in human ECs relative to mature teratoma and the normal seminiferous tubule. Taken together, these findings reveal a previously unrecognized mechanism through which RA can inhibit the Hh pathway via Ptch1 induction. Engaging this pathway is a new way to repress the Hh pathway that can be translated into the cancer clinic.
Project description:Although it is well known that RET gene is strongly activated by retinoic acid (RA) in neuroblastoma cells, the mechanisms underlying such activation are still poorly understood. Here we show that a complex series of molecular events, that include modifications of both chromatin and DNA methylation state, accompany RA-mediated RET activation. Our results indicate that the primary epigenetic determinants of RA-induced RET activation differ between enhancer and promoter regions. At promoter region, the main mark of RET activation was the increase of H3K4me3 levels while no significant changes of the methylation state of H3K27 and H3K9 were observed. At RET enhancer region a bipartite chromatin domain was detected in unstimulated cells and a prompt demethylation of H3K27me3 marked RET gene activation upon RA exposure. Moreover, ChIP experiments demonstrated that EZH2 and MeCP2 repressor complexes were associated to the heavily methylated enhancer region in the absence of RA while both complexes were displaced during RA stimulation. Finally, our data show that a demethylation of a specific CpG site at the enhancer region could favor the displacement of MeCP2 from the heavily methylated RET enhancer region providing a novel potential mechanism for transcriptional regulation of methylated RA-regulated loci.