Human mesenchymal stem cell-replicative senescence and oxidative stress are closely linked to aneuploidy.
ABSTRACT: In most clinical trials, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are expanded in vitro before implantation. The genetic stability of human stem cells is critical for their clinical use. However, the relationship between stem-cell expansion and genetic stability is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that within the normal expansion period, hMSC cultures show a high percentage of aneuploid cells that progressively increases until senescence. Despite this accumulation, we show that in a heterogeneous culture the senescence-prone hMSC subpopulation has a lower proliferation potential and a higher incidence of aneuploidy than the non-senescent subpopulation. We further show that senescence is linked to a novel transcriptional signature that includes a set of genes implicated in ploidy control. Overexpression of the telomerase catalytic subunit (human telomerase reverse transcriptase, hTERT) inhibited senescence, markedly reducing the levels of aneuploidy and preventing the dysregulation of ploidy-controlling genes. hMSC-replicative senescence was accompanied by an increase in oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and oxidative stress, but in long-term cultures that overexpress hTERT, these parameters were maintained at basal levels, comparable to unmodified hMSCs at initial passages. We therefore propose that hTERT contributes to genetic stability through its classical telomere maintenance function and also by reducing the levels of oxidative stress, possibly, by controlling mitochondrial physiology. Finally, we propose that aneuploidy is a relevant factor in the induction of senescence and should be assessed in hMSCs before their clinical use.
Project description:Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) are being successfully evaluated for the treatment of a wide range of pathological conditions, including graft versus host disease (GVHD), bone and cartilage degeneration, complex fistula and myocardial infarction. Many of these clinical trials use hMSC, which have been previously expanded in vitro for 8-12 weeks under pro-oxidative “standard” cell culture conditions. These conditions could have negative effects over genetic stability and promote mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. Our FISH (Fluorescence in situ hybridization) analysis shows that aneuploidy is not unusual phenomenon in conventional cultures of hMSC and that it progressively increases with the passages. We further demonstrate that senescence is linked to transcriptional deregulation of a set of genes that have been previously implicated in cancer and ploidy control. Overexpression of hTERT reversed the deregulation of these ploidy control genes and maintained the basal levels of ploidy even during long-term culture, through its canonical function of telomere elongation and by reducing the levels of oxidative stress. We propose that the high levels of aneuploidy and deregulation of these genes would be relevant biomarkers of senescence in standard cultures of hMSC. We compared the RNA expression profiles of adipose tissue-derived human mesenchymal stem cells cultured in standard cell culture condition at passages 2 with the same primary cell lines cultured by 21 passages. A total of four independent samples were used.
Project description:Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are intrinsically heterogeneous and comprise subpopulations that differ in their proliferation, multi-potency, and functional properties, which are commonly demonstrated by culturing hMSCs at different plating densities. The objective of this study was to investigate the metabolic profiles of different subpopulations of hMSC by testing the hypothesis that the clonogenic hMSC subpopulation, which is selectively enriched in clonal density (CD) and low density (LD) culture (10 and 100 cells per square centimeter, respectively), possesses a metabolic phenotype that differs from that of hMSC in medium- or high-density (MD: 1,000 and HD: 3,000 cells per square centimeter, respectively). Cells at CD and LD conditions exhibited elevated expression of CD146 and colony forming unit-fibroblast compared with cells at MD- or HD. Global metabolic profiles revealed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry of cell extracts showed clear distinction between LD and HD cultures, and density-dependent differences in coupling of glycolysis to the TCA cycle. Metabolic inhibitors revealed density-dependent differences in glycolysis versus oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for ATP generation, in glutamine metabolism, in the dependence on the pentose phosphate pathway for maintaining cellular redox state, and sensitivity to exogenous reactive oxygen species. We also show that active OXPHOS is not required for proliferation in LD culture but that OXPHOS activity increases senescence in HD culture. Together, the results revealed heterogeneity in hMSC culture exists at the level of primary metabolism. The unique metabolic characteristics of the clonogenic subpopulation suggest a novel approach for optimizing in vitro expansion of hMSCs.
Project description:N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) messenger RNA methylation is a well-known epitranscriptional regulatory mechanism affecting central biological processes, but its function in human cellular senescence remains uninvestigated. Here, we found that levels of both m6A RNA methylation and the methyltransferase METTL3 were reduced in prematurely senescent human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) models of progeroid syndromes. Transcriptional profiling of m6A modifications further identified MIS12, for which m6A modifications were reduced in both prematurely senescent hMSCs and METTL3-deficient hMSCs. Knockout of METTL3 accelerated hMSC senescence whereas overexpression of METTL3 rescued the senescent phenotypes. Mechanistically, loss of m6A modifications accelerated the turnover and decreased the expression of MIS12 mRNA while knockout of MIS12 accelerated cellular senescence. Furthermore, m6A reader IGF2BP2 was identified as a key player in recognizing and stabilizing m6A-modified MIS12 mRNA. Taken together, we discovered that METTL3 alleviates hMSC senescence through m6A modification-dependent stabilization of the MIS12 transcript, representing a novel epitranscriptional mechanism in premature stem cell senescence.
Project description:BORIS/CTCFL is a member of cancer testis antigen family normally expressed in germ cells. In tumors, it is aberrantly expressed although its functions are not completely well-defined. To better understand the functions of BORIS in cancer, we selected the embryonic cancer cells as a model. Using a molecular beacon, which specifically targets BORIS mRNA, we demonstrated that BORIS positive cells are a small subpopulation of tumor cells (3-5% of total). The BORIS-positive cells isolated using BORIS-molecular beacon, expressed higher telomerase hTERT, stem cell (NANOG, OCT4, SOX2) and cancer stem cell marker genes (CD44 and ALDH1) compared to the BORIS-negative tumor cells. In order to define the functional role of BORIS, stable BORIS-depleted embryonic cancer cells were generated. BORIS silencing strongly down-regulated the expression of hTERT, stem cell and cancer stem cell marker genes. Moreover, the BORIS knockdown increased cellular senescence in embryonic cancer cells, revealing a putative role of BORIS in the senescence biological program. Our data indicate an association of BORIS expressing cells subpopulation with the expression of stemness genes, highlighting the critical role played by BORIS in embryonic neoplastic disease.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Previous studies have reported immortalization and tumorigenicity of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) transduced with exogenous human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). We also have established a line of hMSCs transduced with hTERT (hTERT-hMSCs) and we have cultured these cells for 290 population doublings (PDs) during which they demonstrated a large proliferation potential but with no tumorigenicity. The aim of this study was to investigate the protein expression profile of hTERT-hMSCs with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and peptide mass fingerprinting by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, to be able to analyse the effects of exogenous hTERT on protein expression in hMSCs. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We generated proteome maps of primary hMSCs and hTERT-hMSCs at PD 95 and PD 275. RESULTS:A total of 1543 +/- 145 protein spots in gels of primary MSCs at PD 12, 1611 +/- 186 protein spots in gels of hTERT-hMSCs at PD 95 and 1451 +/- 126 protein spots in gels of hTERT-hMSCs at 275 PD were detected. One hundred of these were successfully identified, including 20 which were differentially expressed. CONCLUSIONS:The results suggest that sustaining levels of prohibitin and p53 expression along with differential expression of proteins in hTERT-hMSCs provide an insight into lack of transforming activity of hTERT-hMSCs during cell proliferation.
Project description:Although human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are a powerful tool for cell therapy, prolonged culture times result in replicative senescence or acquisition of tumorigenic features. To identify a molecular signature for senescence, we compared the transcriptome of senescent and young hMSCs with normal karyotype (hMSCs/n) and with a constitutional inversion of chromosome 3 (hMSC/inv). Senescent and young cells from both lineages showed differentially expressed genes (DEGs), with higher levels in senescent hMSCs/inv. Among the 30 DEGs in senescent hMSC/inv, 11 are new candidates for biomarkers of cellular senescence. The functional categories most represented in senescent hMSCs were related to cellular development, cell growth/proliferation, cell death, cell signaling/interaction, and cell movement. Mapping of DEGs onto biological networks revealed matrix metalloproteinase-1, thrombospondin 1, and epidermal growth factor acting as topological bottlenecks. In the comparison between senescent hMSCs/n and senescent hMSCs/inv, other functional annotations such as segregation of chromosomes, mitotic spindle formation, and mitosis and proliferation of tumor lines were most represented. We found that many genes categorized into functional annotations related to tumors in both comparisons, with relation to tumors being highest in senescent hMSCs/inv. The data presented here improves our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of cellular senescence as well as tumorigenesis.
Project description:During DNA replication, the enzyme telomerase maintains the ends of chromosomes, called telomeres. Shortened telomeres trigger cell senescence, and cancer cells often have increased telomerase activity to promote their ability to proliferate indefinitely. The catalytic subunit, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), is stabilized by phosphorylation. We found that the lysophospholipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), generated by sphingosine kinase 2 (SK2), bound hTERT at the nuclear periphery in human and mouse fibroblasts. Docking predictions and mutational analyses revealed that binding occurred between a hydroxyl group (C'3-OH) in S1P and Asp(684) in hTERT. Inhibiting or depleting SK2 or mutating the S1P binding site decreased the stability of hTERT in cultured cells and promoted senescence and loss of telomere integrity. S1P binding inhibited the interaction of hTERT with makorin ring finger protein 1 (MKRN1), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that tags hTERT for degradation. Murine Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells formed smaller tumors in mice lacking SK2 than in wild-type mice, and knocking down SK2 in LLC cells before implantation into mice suppressed their growth. Pharmacologically inhibiting SK2 decreased the growth of subcutaneous A549 lung cancer cell-derived xenografts in mice, and expression of wild-type hTERT, but not an S1P-binding mutant, restored tumor growth. Thus, our data suggest that S1P binding to hTERT allosterically mimicks phosphorylation, promoting telomerase stability and hence telomere maintenance, cell proliferation, and tumor growth.
Project description:High temperature is a critical environmental and personal factor. Although heat shock is a well-studied biological phenomenon, hyperthermia response of stem cells is poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that sublethal heat shock induced premature senescence in human endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (eMSC). This study aimed to investigate the fate of eMSC-survived sublethal heat shock (SHS) with special emphasis on their genetic stability and possible malignant transformation using methods of classic and molecular karyotyping, next-generation sequencing, and transcriptome functional analysis. G-banding revealed random chromosome breakages and aneuploidy in the SHS-treated eMSC. Molecular karyotyping found no genomic imbalance in these cells. Gene module and protein interaction network analysis of mRNA sequencing data showed that compared to untreated cells, SHS-survived progeny revealed some difference in gene expression. However, no hallmarks of cancer were found. Our data identified downregulation of oncogenic signaling, upregulation of tumor-suppressing and prosenescence signaling, induction of mismatch, and excision DNA repair. The common feature of heated eMSC is the silence of MYC, AKT1/PKB oncogenes, and hTERT telomerase. Overall, our data indicate that despite genetic instability, SHS-survived eMSC do not undergo transformation. After long-term cultivation, these cells like their unheated counterparts enter replicative senescence and die.
Project description:The causal role of aneuploidy in cancer initiation remains under debate since mutations of euploidy-controlling genes reduce cell fitness but aneuploidy strongly associates with human cancers. Telomerase activation allows immortal growth by stabilizing telomere length, but its role in aneuploidy survival has not been characterized. Here, we analyze the response of primary human cells and murine hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to aneuploidy induction and the role of telomeres and the telomerase in this process. The study shows that aneuploidy induces replication stress at telomeres leading to telomeric DNA damage and p53 activation. This results in p53/Rb-dependent, premature senescence of human fibroblast, and in the depletion of hematopoietic cells in telomerase-deficient mice. Endogenous telomerase expression in HSCs and enforced expression of telomerase in human fibroblasts are sufficient to abrogate aneuploidy-induced replication stress at telomeres and the consequent induction of premature senescence and hematopoietic cell depletion. Together, these results identify telomerase as an aneuploidy survival factor in mammalian cells based on its capacity to alleviate telomere replication stress in response to aneuploidy induction.
Project description:SIRT6 belongs to the mammalian homologs of Sir2 histone NAD(+)-dependent deacylase family. In rodents, SIRT6 deficiency leads to aging-associated degeneration of mesodermal tissues. It remains unknown whether human SIRT6 has a direct role in maintaining the homeostasis of mesodermal tissues. To this end, we generated SIRT6 knockout human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) by targeted gene editing. SIRT6-deficient hMSCs exhibited accelerated functional decay, a feature distinct from typical premature cellular senescence. Rather than compromised chromosomal stability, SIRT6-null hMSCs were predominately characterized by dysregulated redox metabolism and increased sensitivity to the oxidative stress. In addition, we found SIRT6 in a protein complex with both nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) and RNA polymerase II, which was required for the transactivation of NRF2-regulated antioxidant genes, including heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). Overexpression of HO-1 in SIRT6-null hMSCs rescued premature cellular attrition. Our study uncovers a novel function of SIRT6 in maintaining hMSC homeostasis by serving as a NRF2 coactivator, which represents a new layer of regulation of oxidative stress-associated stem cell decay.