STAT3 phosphorylation at tyrosine 705 and serine 727 differentially regulates mouse ESC fates.
ABSTRACT: STAT3 can be transcriptionally activated by phosphorylation of its tyrosine 705 or serine 727 residue. In mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signaling maintains pluripotency by inducing JAK-mediated phosphorylation of STAT3 Y705 (pY705). However, the function of phosphorylated S727 (pS727) in mESCs remains unclear. In this study, we examined the roles of STAT3 pY705 and pS727 in regulating mESC identities, using a small molecule-based system to post-translationally modulate the quantity of transgenic STAT3 in STAT3(-/-) mESCs. We demonstrated that pY705 is absolutely required for STAT3-mediated mESC self-renewal, while pS727 is dispensable, serving only to promote proliferation and optimal pluripotency. S727 phosphorylation is regulated directly by fibroblast growth factor/Erk signaling and crucial in the transition of mESCs from pluripotency to neuronal commitment. Loss of S727 phosphorylation resulted in significantly reduced neuronal differentiation potential, which could be recovered by a S727 phosphorylation mimic. Moreover, loss of pS727 sufficed LIF to reprogram epiblast stem cells to naïve pluripotency, suggesting a dynamic equilibrium of STAT3 pY705 and pS727 in the control of mESC fate.
Project description:Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is required for maintaining self-renewal and pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Here, we have confirmed transcription factor Forkhead Box m1 (Foxm1) as a LIF/Stat3 downstream target that mediates LIF/Stat3-dependent mESC self-renewal. The expression of Foxm1 relies on LIF signaling and is stimulated by Stat3 directly in mESCs. The knockdown of Foxm1 results in the loss of mESC pluripotency in the presence of LIF, and the overexpression of Foxm1 alone maintains mESC pluripotency in the absence of LIF and feeder layers, indicating that Foxm1 is a mediator of LIF/Stat3-dependent maintenance of pluripotency in mESCs. Furthermore, the inhibition of Foxm1 expression prevents the reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), suggesting that Foxm1 is essential for the reprogramming of somatic cells into iPSCs. Our results reveal an essential function of Foxm1 in the LIF/Stat3-mediated mESC self-renewal and the generation of iPSCs.
Project description:Activation of leukemia inhibitor factor (LIF)-Stat3 or Wnt/?-catenin signaling promotes mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) self-renewal. A myriad of downstream targets have been identified in the individual signal pathways, but their common targets remain largely elusive. In this study, we found that the LIF-Stat3 and Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathways converge on Sp5 to promote mESC self-renewal. Forced Sp5 expression can reproduce partial effects of Wnt/?-catenin signaling but mimics most features of LIF-Stat3 signaling to maintain undifferentiated mESCs. Moreover, Sp5 is able to convert mouse epiblast stem cells into a naïve pluripotent state. Thus, Sp5 is an important component of the regulatory network governing mESC naïve pluripotency.
Project description:The TET family of FE(II) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent enzymes (Tet1/2/3) promote DNA demethylation by converting 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), which they further oxidize into 5-formylcytosine and 5-carboxylcytosine. Tet1 is robustly expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and has been implicated in mESC maintenance. Here we demonstrate that, unlike genetic deletion, RNAi-mediated depletion of Tet1 in mESCs led to a significant reduction in 5hmC and loss of mESC identity. The differentiation phenotype due to Tet1 depletion positively correlated with the extent of 5hmC loss. Meta-analyses of genomic data sets suggested interaction between Tet1 and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signaling. LIF signaling is known to promote self-renewal and pluripotency in mESCs partly by opposing MAPK/ERK-mediated differentiation. Withdrawal of LIF leads to differentiation of mESCs. We discovered that Tet1 depletion impaired LIF-dependent Stat3-mediated gene activation by affecting Stat3's ability to bind to its target sites on chromatin. Nanog overexpression or inhibition of MAPK/ERK signaling, both known to maintain mESCs in the absence of LIF, rescued Tet1 depletion, further supporting the dependence of LIF/Stat3 signaling on Tet1. These data support the conclusion that analysis of mESCs in the hours/days immediately following efficient Tet1 depletion reveals Tet1's normal physiological role in maintaining the pluripotent state that may be subject to homeostatic compensation in genetic models.
Project description:Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF)/Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway maintains the stemness and pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Detailed knowledge on key intermediates in this pathway as well as any parallel pathways is largely missing. We initiated our study by investigating the effect of small molecule Curcumin on various signalling pathways essential for self-renewal. Curcumin sustained the LIF independent self-renewal of mESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (miPSCs) in a STAT3 activity dependent manner. Gene expression analysis showed LIF/STAT3 and redox signaling components to be majorly modulated. Amongst ROS genes, expression of Manganese Superoxide Dismutase (MnSOD) specifically relied on STAT3 signaling as evidenced by STAT3 inhibition and reporter assay. The silencing of MnSOD, but not Cu-ZnSOD expression, resulted in the loss of mESC pluripotency in presence of LIF, and the overexpression of MnSOD is sufficient for maintaining the expression of pluripotent genes in the absence of STAT3 signaling. Finally, we demonstrate MnSOD to stabilize the turnover of pluripotent proteins at the post-translational level by modulating proteasomal activity. In conclusion, our findings unravel a novel role of STAT3 mediated MnSOD in the self-renewal of mESCs.
Project description:Activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) maintains mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) self-renewal. Our previous study showed that trans-acting transcription factor 5 (Sp5), an LIF/STAT3 downstream target, supports mESC self-renewal. However, the mechanism by which Sp5 exerts these effects remains elusive. Here, we found that Nanog is a direct target of Sp5 and mediates the self-renewal-promoting effect of Sp5 in mESCs. Overexpression of Sp5 induced Nanog expression, while knockdown or knockout of Sp5 decreased the Nanog level. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that Sp5 directly bound to the Nanog promoter. Functional studies revealed that knockdown of Nanog eliminated the mESC self-renewal-promoting ability of Sp5. Finally, we demonstrated that the self-renewal-promoting function of Sp5 was largely dependent on its zinc finger domains. Taken together, our study provides unrecognized functions of Sp5 in mESCs and will expand our current understanding of the regulation of mESC pluripotency.
Project description:Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), an indispensable bioactive protein that sustains self-renewal and pluripotency in stem cells, is vital for mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) culture. Extensive research is conducted on reliable alternatives for LIF as its clinical application in stable culture and large-scale expansion of ESCs is limited by its instability and high cost. However, few studies have sought to replace LIF with nanoparticles to provide a xeno-free culture condition. MgAl-LDH (layered double hydroxide) nanoparticles can partially replace LIF in maintaining pluripotency of mESCs; however, the requirement and tolerance for aluminum ions in mice are far lesser than those of iron ions. Hence, MgFe-LDH nanoparticles are selected for this study. MgFe-LDH is superior to MgAl-LDH in maintaining self-renewal and pluripotency of mESCs, in the absence of LIF and mouse embryonic fibroblast. Furthermore, combined transcriptomic and proteomic analysis confirms that MgFe-LDH can activate the LIF receptor (LIFR)/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B(AKT), LIFR/JAK/janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3), and phospho-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(p-STAT3)/ten-eleven translocation (TET) signaling pathways, while the extra Fe<sup>2+</sup> provided by MgFe-LDH would also enhance TET1/2 abundance thus affecting the TET1/2 regulated pluripotency related marker expression and TET1/2 meditated DNA demethylation. These results suggest that MgFe-LDH nanoparticles can thus be used as an affordable and efficient replacement for LIF in mESC cultivation.
Project description:Maintaining undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) culture has been a major challenge as mESCs cultured in Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) conditions exhibit spontaneous differentiation, fluctuating expression of pluripotency genes, and genes of specialized cells. Here we show that, in sharp contrast to the mESCs seeded on the conventional rigid substrates, the mESCs cultured on the soft substrates that match the intrinsic stiffness of the mESCs and in the absence of exogenous LIF for 5 days, surprisingly still generated homogeneous undifferentiated colonies, maintained high levels of Oct3/4, Nanog, and Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) activities, and formed embryoid bodies and teratomas efficiently. A different line of mESCs, cultured on the soft substrates without exogenous LIF, maintained the capacity of generating homogeneous undifferentiated colonies with relatively high levels of Oct3/4 and AP activities, up to at least 15 passages, suggesting that this soft substrate approach applies to long term culture of different mESC lines. mESC colonies on these soft substrates without LIF generated low cell-matrix tractions and low stiffness. Both tractions and stiffness of the colonies increased with substrate stiffness, accompanied by downregulation of Oct3/4 expression. Our findings demonstrate that mESC self-renewal and pluripotency can be maintained homogeneously on soft substrates via the biophysical mechanism of facilitating generation of low cell-matrix tractions.
Project description:Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are expanded and maintained pluripotent in vitro in the presence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), an IL6 cytokine family member which displays pleiotropic functions, depending on both cell maturity and cell type. LIF withdrawal leads to heterogeneous differentiation of mESCs with a proportion of the differentiated cells apoptosising. During LIF withdrawal, cells sequentially enter a reversible and irreversible phase of differentiation during which LIF addition induces different effects. However the regulators and effectors of LIF-mediated reprogramming are poorly understood. By employing a LIF-dependent 'plasticity' test, that we set up, we show that Klf5, but not JunB is a key LIF effector. Furthermore PI3K signaling, required for the maintenance of mESC pluripotency, has no effect on mESC plasticity while displaying a major role in committed cells by stimulating expression of the mesodermal marker Brachyury at the expense of endoderm and neuroectoderm lineage markers. We also show that the MMP1 metalloproteinase, which can replace LIF for maintenance of pluripotency, mimics LIF in the plasticity window, but less efficiently. Finally, we demonstrate that mESCs maintain plasticity and pluripotency potentials in vitro under hypoxic/physioxic growth conditions at 3% O2 despite lower levels of Pluri and Master gene expression in comparison to 20% O2.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)/mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) processes are proposed to be a driving force of cancer metastasis. By studying metastasis in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BM-MSC)-driven lung cancer models, microarray time-series data analysis by systems biology approaches revealed BM-MSC-induced signaling triggers early dissemination of CD133<sup>+</sup>/CD83<sup>+</sup> cancer stem cells (CSCs) from primary sites shortly after STAT3 activation but promotes proliferation towards secondary sites. The switch from migration to proliferation was regulated by BM-MSC-secreted LIF and activated LIFR/p-ERK/pS727-STAT3 signaling to promote early disseminated cancer cells MET and premetastatic niche formation. Then, tumor-tropic BM-MSCs circulated to primary sites and triggered CD151<sup>+</sup>/CD38<sup>+</sup> cells acquiring EMT-associated CSC properties through IL6R/pY705-STAT3 signaling to promote tumor initiation and were also attracted by and migrated towards the premetastatic niche. In summary, STAT3 phosphorylation at tyrosine 705 and serine 727 differentially regulates the EMT-MET switch within the distinct molecular subtypes of CSCs to complete the metastatic process.
Project description:Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) undergo self-renewal in the presence of the cytokine, leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Following LIF withdrawal, mESCs differentiate, and this is accompanied by an increase in cell-substratum adhesion and cell spreading. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between cell spreading and mESC differentiation. Using E14 and R1 mESC lines, we have restricted cell spreading in the absence of LIF by either culturing mESCs on chemically defined, weakly adhesive biomaterial substrates, or by manipulating the cytoskeleton. We demonstrate that by restricting the degree of spreading by either method, mESCs can be maintained in an undifferentiated and pluripotent state. Under these conditions, self-renewal occurs without the need for LIF and is independent of nuclear translocation of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT3 or ?-catenin, which have previously been implicated in self-renewal. We also demonstrate that the effect of restricted cell spreading on mESC self-renewal is not mediated by increased intercellular adhesion, as evidenced by the observations that inhibition of mESC adhesion using a function blocking anti E-cadherin antibody or siRNA do not promote differentiation. These results show that mESC spreading and differentiation are regulated both by LIF and by cell-substratum adhesion, consistent with the hypothesis that cell spreading is the common intermediate step in the regulation of mESC differentiation by either LIF or cell-substratum adhesion.