Cell-fate determination by ubiquitin-dependent regulation of translation.
ABSTRACT: Metazoan development depends on the accurate execution of differentiation programs that allow pluripotent stem cells to adopt specific fates. Differentiation requires changes to chromatin architecture and transcriptional networks, yet whether other regulatory events support cell-fate determination is less well understood. Here we identify the ubiquitin ligase CUL3 in complex with its vertebrate-specific substrate adaptor KBTBD8 (CUL3(KBTBD8)) as an essential regulator of human and Xenopus tropicalis neural crest specification. CUL3(KBTBD8) monoubiquitylates NOLC1 and its paralogue TCOF1, the mutation of which underlies the neurocristopathy Treacher Collins syndrome. Ubiquitylation drives formation of a TCOF1-NOLC1 platform that connects RNA polymerase I with ribosome modification enzymes and remodels the translational program of differentiating cells in favour of neural crest specification. We conclude that ubiquitin-dependent regulation of translation is an important feature of cell-fate determination.
Project description:Metazoan development depends on tightly regulated gene expression programs that instruct progenitor cells to adopt specialized fates. Recent work found that posttranslational modifications, such as monoubiquitylation, can determine cell fate also independently of effects on transcription, yet how monoubiquitylation is implemented during development is poorly understood. Here, we have identified a regulatory circuit that controls monoubiquitylation-dependent neural crest specification by the E3 ligase CUL3 and its substrate adaptor KBTBD8. We found that CUL3KBTBD8 monoubiquitylates its essential targets only after these have been phosphorylated in multiple motifs by CK2, a kinase whose levels gradually increase during embryogenesis. Its dependency on multisite phosphorylation allows CUL3KBTBD8 to convert the slow rise in embryonic CK2 into decisive recognition of ubiquitylation substrates, which in turn is essential for neural crest specification. We conclude that multisite dependency of an E3 ligase provides a powerful mechanism for switch-like cell fate transitions controlled by monoubiquitylation.
Project description:Metazoan development depends on accurate execution of differentiation programs that allow pluripotent stem cells to adopt specific fates. Differentiation is brought about by global changes to chromatin architecture and transcriptional networks, yet whether other regulatory events support cell fate determination is less well understood. Using human embryonic stem cell and Xenopus models, we identified the vertebrate-specific ubiquitin ligase Cul3KBTBD8 as an essential regulator of neural crest specification. Cul3KBTBD8 monoubiquitylates NOLC1 and its paralog TCOF1, whose mutation underlies the craniofacial disorder Treacher Collins Syndrome that is characterized by a loss of cranial neural crest cells. Ubiquitylation of NOLC1 and TCOF1 drives formation of a platform that connects RNA polymerase I with ribosome modification enzymes, thereby altering the translational program of differentiating cells to support the generation of neural crest cells. We conclude that the dynamic regulation of ribosome function is an important feature of cell fate determination. Ribosome profiling and mRNA-Seq
Project description:Metazoan development depends on accurate execution of differentiation programs that allow pluripotent stem cells to adopt specific fates. Differentiation is brought about by global changes to chromatin architecture and transcriptional networks, yet whether other regulatory events support cell fate determination is less well understood. Using a human embryonic stem cell model, we identified the vertebrate-specific ubiquitin ligase Cul3KBTBD8 as an essential regulator of neural crest cell formation. Cul3KBTBD8 monoubiquitylates NOLC1 and its paralog TCOF1, whose mutation underlies the developmental disease Treacher Collins Syndrome that is characterized by a loss of cranial neural crest cells. Ubiquitylation of NOLC1 and TCOF1 drives formation of a platform that connects RNA polymerase I with ribosome modification enzymes, thereby altering the translational program of differentiating cells to support the generation of neural crest cells. We conclude that the dynamic regulation of ribosome function is an important feature of cell fate determination. Affymetrix assays were performed according to the manufacturer's directions on total RNA isolated from three independent samples of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) H1 cells or cells that had been differentiated into embryoid bodies for 6 days. Where indicated, hESC cells were transduced with control shRNA or shRNA targeting KBTBD8 prior to mRNA isolation. HUMAN GENE 1.0 ST ARRAY chips were used.
Project description:Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is a rare congenital birth disorder characterized by severe craniofacial defects. The syndrome is associated with mutations in the TCOF1 gene which encodes a putative nucleolar phosphoprotein known as treacle. An animal model of the severe form of TCS, generated through mutation of the mouse homologue Tcof1 has recently revealed significant insights into the etiology and pathogenesis of TCS (Dixon and Dixon, 2004; Dixon et al., 2006; Jones et al 2008). During early embryogenesis in a TCS individual, an excessive degree of neuroepithelial apoptosis diminishes the generation of neural crest cells. Neural crest cells are a migratory stem and progenitor cell population that generates most of the tissues of the head including much of the bone, cartilage and connective tissue. It has been hypothesized that mutations in Tcof1 disrupt ribosome biogenesis to a degree that is insufficient to meet the proliferative needs of the neuroepithelium and neural crest cells. This causes nucleolar stress activation of the p53-dependent apoptotic pathway which induces neuroepithelial cell death. Interestingly however, chemical and genetic inhibition of p53 activity can block the wave of apoptosis and prevent craniofacial anomalies in Tcof1 mutant mice [Jones NC, Lynn ML, Gaudenz K, Sakai D, Aoto K, Rey JP, et al. Prevention of the neurocristopathy Treacher Collins syndrome through inhibition of p53 function. Nat Med 2008;14:125-33]. These findings shed new light on potential therapeutic avenues for the prevention of not only TCS but also other congenital craniofacial disorders which share a similar etiology and pathogenesis.
Project description:The neural crest (NC) is a transient multipotent cell population present during embryonic development. The NC can give rise to multiple cell types and is involved in a number of different diseases. Therefore, the development of new strategies to model NC in vitro enables investigations into the mechanisms involved in NC development and disease. In this study, we report a simple and efficient protocol to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (HPSC) into NC using a chemically defined media, with basic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) and the transforming growth factor-? inhibitor SB-431542. The cell population generated expresses a range of NC markers, including P75, TWIST1, SOX10, and TFAP2A. NC purification was achieved in vitro through serial passaging of the population, recreating the developmental stages of NC differentiation. The generated NC cells are highly proliferative, capable of differentiating to their derivatives in vitro and engraft in vivo to NC specific locations. In addition, these cells could be frozen for storage and thawed with no loss of NC properties, nor the ability to generate cellular derivatives. We assessed the potential of the derived NC population to model the neurocristopathy, Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS), using small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of TCOF1 and by creating different TCOF1+/- HPSC lines through CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The NC cells derived from TCOF1+/- HPSC recapitulate the phenotype of the reported TCS murine model. We also report for the first time an impairment of migration in TCOF1+/- NC and mesenchymal stem cells. In conclusion, the developed protocol permits the generation of the large number of NC cells required for developmental studies, disease modeling, and for drug discovery platforms in vitro.
Project description:Cell fate specification defines the earliest steps towards a distinct cell lineage. Neural crest, a multipotent stem cell population, is thought to be specified from the ectoderm, but its varied contributions defy canons of segregation potential and challenges its embryonic origin. Aiming to resolve this conflict, we have assayed the earliest specification of neural crest using blastula stage chick embryos. Specification assays on isolated chick epiblast explants identify an intermediate region specified towards the neural crest cell fate. Furthermore, low density culture suggests that the specification of intermediate cells towards the neural crest lineage is independent of contact mediated induction and Wnt-ligand induced signaling, but is, however, dependent on transcriptional activity of ?-catenin. Finally, we have validated the regional identity of the intermediate region towards the neural crest cell fate using fate map studies. Our results suggest a model of neural crest specification within a restricted epiblast region in blastula stage chick embryos.
Project description:Neural crest cells are a migratory cell population that give rise to the majority of the cartilage, bone, connective tissue, and sensory ganglia in the head. Abnormalities in the formation, proliferation, migration, and differentiation phases of the neural crest cell life cycle can lead to craniofacial malformations, which constitute one-third of all congenital birth defects. Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is characterized by hypoplasia of the facial bones, cleft palate, and middle and external ear defects. Although TCS results from autosomal dominant mutations of the gene TCOF1, the mechanistic origins of the abnormalities observed in this condition are unknown, and the function of Treacle, the protein encoded by TCOF1, remains poorly understood. To investigate the developmental basis of TCS we generated a mouse model through germ-line mutation of Tcof1. Haploinsufficiency of Tcof1 leads to a deficiency in migrating neural crest cells, which results in severe craniofacial malformations. We demonstrate that Tcof1/Treacle is required cell-autonomously for the formation and proliferation of neural crest cells. Tcof1/Treacle regulates proliferation by controlling the production of mature ribosomes. Therefore, Tcof1/Treacle is a unique spatiotemporal regulator of ribosome biogenesis, a deficiency that disrupts neural crest cell formation and proliferation, causing the hypoplasia characteristic of TCS craniofacial anomalies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are a critical component of the peripheral nervous system, and function to relay somatosensory information from the body's periphery to sensory perception centres within the brain. The DRG are primarily comprised of two cell types, sensory neurons and glia, both of which are neural crest-derived. Notch signalling is known to play an essential role in defining the neuronal or glial fate of bipotent neural crest progenitors that migrate from the dorsal ridge of the neural tube to the sites of the DRG. However, the involvement of Notch ligands in this process and the timing at which neuronal versus glial fate is acquired has remained uncertain. RESULTS:We have used tissue specific knockout of the E3 ubiquitin ligase mindbomb1 (Mib1) to remove the function of all Notch ligands in neural crest cells. Wnt1-Cre; Mib1fl/fl mice exhibit severe DRG defects, including a reduction in glial cells, and neuronal cell death later in development. By comparing formation of sensory neurons and glia with the expression and activation of Notch signalling in these mice, we define a critical period during embryonic development in which early migrating neural crest cells become biased toward neuronal and glial phenotypes. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrate active Notch signalling between neural crest progenitors as soon as trunk neural crest cells delaminate from the neural tube and during their early migration toward the site of the DRG. This data brings into question the timing of neuroglial fate specification in the DRG and suggest that it may occur much earlier than originally considered.
Project description:The Pax3/7 gene family has a fundamental and conserved role during neural crest formation. In people, PAX3 mutation causes Waardenburg syndrome, and murine Pax3 is essential for pigment formation. However, it is unclear exactly how Pax3 functions within the neural crest. Here we show that pax3 is expressed before other pax3/7 members, including duplicated pax3b, pax7 and pax7b genes, early in zebrafish neural crest development. Knockdown of Pax3 protein by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides results in defective fate specification of xanthophores, with complete ablation in the trunk. Other pigment lineages are specified and differentiate. As a consequence of xanthophore loss, expression of pax7, a marker of the xanthophore lineage, is reduced in neural crest. Morpholino knockdown of Pax7 protein shows that Pax7 itself is dispensable for xanthophore fate specification, although yellow pigmentation is reduced. Loss of xanthophores after reduction of Pax3 correlates with a delay in melanoblast differentiation followed by significant increase in melanophores, suggestive of a Pax3-driven fate switch within a chromatophore precursor or stem cell. Analysis of other neural crest derivatives reveals that, in the absence of Pax3, the enteric nervous system is ablated from its inception. Therefore, Pax3 in zebrafish is required for specification of two specific lineages of neural crest, xanthophores and enteric neurons.
Project description:Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is a congenital disorder of craniofacial development arising from mutations in TCOF1, which encodes the nucleolar phosphoprotein Treacle. Haploinsufficiency of Tcof1 perturbs mature ribosome biogenesis, resulting in stabilization of p53 and the cyclin G1-mediated cell-cycle arrest that underpins the specificity of neuroepithelial apoptosis and neural crest cell hypoplasia characteristic of TCS. Here we show that inhibition of p53 prevents cyclin G1-driven apoptotic elimination of neural crest cells while rescuing the craniofacial abnormalities associated with mutations in Tcof1 and extending life span. These improvements, however, occur independently of the effects on ribosome biogenesis; thus suggesting that it is p53-dependent neuroepithelial apoptosis that is the primary mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of TCS. Our work further implies that neuroepithelial and neural crest cells are particularly sensitive to cellular stress during embryogenesis and that suppression of p53 function provides an attractive avenue for possible clinical prevention of TCS craniofacial birth defects and possibly those of other neurocristopathies.