Reprogramming triggers endogenous L1 and Alu retrotransposition in human induced pluripotent stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are capable of unlimited proliferation and can differentiate in vitro to generate derivatives of the three primary germ layers. Genetic and epigenetic abnormalities have been reported by Wissing and colleagues to occur during hiPSC derivation, including mobilization of engineered LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons. However, incidence and functional impact of endogenous retrotransposition in hiPSCs are yet to be established. Here we apply retrotransposon capture sequencing to eight hiPSC lines and three human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines, revealing endogenous L1, Alu and SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA) mobilization during reprogramming and pluripotent stem cell cultivation. Surprisingly, 4/7 de novo L1 insertions are full length and 6/11 retrotransposition events occurred in protein-coding genes expressed in pluripotent stem cells. We further demonstrate that an intronic L1 insertion in the CADPS2 gene is acquired during hiPSC cultivation and disrupts CADPS2 expression. These experiments elucidate endogenous retrotransposition, and its potential consequences, in hiPSCs and hESCs.
Project description:Retroelements have contributed over one third of the human genome mass. The currently active LINE-1 (L1) codes for two proteins (ORF1p and ORF2p), both strictly required for retrotransposition. In contrast, the non-coding parasitic SINE (Alu) only appears to need the L1 ORF2p for its own amplification. This requirement was previously determined using a tissue culture assay system in human cells (HeLa). Because HeLa are likely to express functional L1 proteins, it is possible that low levels of endogenous ORF1p are necessary for the observed tagged Alu mobilization. By individually expressing ORF1 and ORF2 proteins from both human (L1RP and LRE3) and rodent (L1A102 and L1spa) L1 sources, we demonstrate that increasing amounts of ORF1 expressing vector enhances tagged Alu mobilization in HeLa cells. In addition, using chicken fibroblast cells as an alternate cell culture source, we confirmed that ORF1p is not strictly required for Alu mobilization in our assay. Supporting our observations in HeLa cells, we find that tagged Alu retrotransposition is improved by supplementation of ORF1p in the cultured chicken cells. We postulate that L1 ORF1p plays either a direct or indirect role in enhancing the interaction between the Alu RNA and the required factors needed for its retrotransposition.
Project description:The retrotransposon LINE-1 (L1) is a significant source of endogenous mutagenesis in humans. In each individual genome, a few retrotransposition-competent L1s (RC-L1s) can generate new heritable L1 insertions in the early embryo, primordial germ line, and germ cells. L1 retrotransposition can also occur in the neuronal lineage and cause somatic mosaicism. Although DNA methylation mediates L1 promoter repression, the temporal pattern of methylation applied to individual RC-L1s during neurogenesis is unclear. Here, we identified a de novo L1 insertion in a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line via retrotransposon capture sequencing (RC-seq). The L1 insertion was full-length and carried 5' and 3' transductions. The corresponding donor RC-L1 was part of a large and recently active L1 transduction family and was highly mobile in a cultured-cell L1 retrotransposition reporter assay. Notably, we observed distinct and dynamic DNA methylation profiles for the de novo L1 and members of its extended transduction family during neuronal differentiation. These experiments reveal how a de novo L1 insertion in a pluripotent stem cell is rapidly recognized and repressed, albeit incompletely, by the host genome during neurodifferentiation, while retaining potential for further retrotransposition.
Project description:Members of the APOBEC3 (A3) family of cytidine deaminase enzymes act as host defense mechanisms limiting both infections by exogenous retroviruses and mobilization of endogenous retrotransposons. Previous studies revealed that the overexpression of some A3 proteins could restrict engineered human Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposition in HeLa cells. However, whether endogenous A3 proteins play a role in restricting L1 retrotransposition remains largely unexplored. Here, we show that HeLa cells express endogenous A3B and A3C, whereas human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) express A3B, A3C, A3DE, A3F, and A3G. To study the relative contribution of endogenous A3 proteins in restricting L1 retrotransposition, we first generated small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) to suppress endogenous A3 mRNA expression, and then assessed L1 mobility using a cell-based L1 retrotransposition assay. We demonstrate that in both HeLa and hESCs, shRNA-based knockdown of A3B promotes a ?2-3.7-fold increase in the retrotransposition efficiency of an engineered human L1. Knockdown of the other A3s produced no significant increase in L1 activity. Thus, A3B appears to restrict engineered L1 retrotransposition in a broad range of cell types, including pluripotent cells.
Project description:LINE-Alu-VNTR-Alu-like (LAVA) elements comprise a family of non-autonomous, composite, non-LTR retrotransposons specific to gibbons and may have played a role in the evolution of this lineage. A full-length LAVA element consists of portions of repeats found in most primate genomes: CT-rich, Alu-like, and VNTR regions from the SVA retrotransposon, and portions of the AluSz and L1ME5 elements. To evaluate whether the gibbon genome currently harbors functional LAVA elements capable of mobilization by the endogenous LINE-1 (L1) protein machinery and which LAVA components are important for retrotransposition, we established a trans-mobilization assay in HeLa cells. Specifically, we tested if a full-length member of the older LAVA subfamily C that was isolated from the gibbon genome and named LAVAC, or its components, can be mobilized in the presence of the human L1 protein machinery. We show that L1 proteins mobilize the LAVAC element at frequencies exceeding processed pseudogene formation and human SVAE retrotransposition by > 100-fold and ≥3-fold, respectively. We find that only the SVA-derived portions confer activity, and truncation of the 3' L1ME5 portion increases retrotransposition rates by at least 100%. Tagged de novo insertions integrated into intronic regions in cell culture, recapitulating findings in the gibbon genome. Finally, we present alternative models for the rise of the LAVA retrotransposon in the gibbon lineage.
Project description:Long interspersed element 1 (L1) is the only currently active autonomous retroelement in the human genome. Along with the parasitic SVA and short interspersed element Alu, L1 is the source of DNA damage induced by retrotransposition: a copy-and-paste process that has the potential to disrupt gene function and cause human disease. The retrotransposition process is dependent upon the ORF2 protein (ORF2p). However, it is unknown whether most of the protein is important for retrotransposition. In particular, other than the Cys motif, the C terminus of the protein has not been intensely examined in the context of retrotransposition. Using evolutionary analysis and the Alu retrotransposition assay, we sought to identify additional amino acids in the C terminus important for retrotransposition. Here, we demonstrate that Gal4-tagged and untagged C-terminally truncated ORF2p fragments possess residual potential to drive Alu retrotransposition. Using sight-directed mutagenesis we identify that while the Y1180 amino acid is important for ORF2p- and L1-driven Alu retrotransposition, a mutation at this position improves L1 retrotransposition. Even though the mechanism of the contribution of Y1180 to Alu and L1 mobilization remains unknown, experimental evidence rules out its direct involvement in the ability of the ORF2p reverse transcriptase to generate complementary DNA. Additionally, our data support that ORF2p amino acids 1180 and 1250-1262 may be involved in the reported ORF1p-mediated increase in ORF2p-driven Alu retrotransposition.
Project description:We examined the gene expression and DNA methylation of 49 human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and 10 human embryonic stem cells and found overlapped variations in gene expression and DNA methylation in the two types of human pluripotent stem cell lines. Comparisons of the in vitro neural differentiation of 40 hiPSCs and 10 human embryonic stem cells showed that seven hiPSC clones retained a significant number of undifferentiated cells even after neural differentiation culture and formed teratoma when transplanted into mouse brains. These differentiation-defective hiPSC clones were marked by higher expression levels of several genes, including those expressed from long terminal repeats of specific human endogenous retroviruses. These data demonstrated a subset of hiPSC lines that have aberrant gene expression and defective potential in neural differentiation, which need to be identified and eliminated before applications in regenerative medicine.
Project description:Mobilization of retrotransposons to new genomic locations is a significant driver of mammalian genome evolution, but these mutagenic events can also cause genetic disorders. In humans, retrotransposon mobilization is mediated primarily by proteins encoded by LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons, which mobilize in pluripotent cells early in development. Here we show that TEX19.1, which is induced by developmentally programmed DNA hypomethylation, can directly interact with the L1-encoded protein L1-ORF1p, stimulate its polyubiquitylation and degradation, and restrict L1 mobilization. We also show that TEX19.1 likely acts, at least in part, through promoting the activity of the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBR2 towards L1-ORF1p. Moreover, loss of Tex19.1 increases L1-ORF1p levels and L1 mobilization in pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells, implying that Tex19.1 prevents de novo retrotransposition in the pluripotent phase of the germline cycle. These data show that post-translational regulation of L1 retrotransposons plays a key role in maintaining trans-generational genome stability in mammals.
Project description:Long interspersed element 1s (LINE-1s or L1s) are a family of non-long-terminal-repeat retrotransposons that predominate in the human genome. Active LINE-1 elements encode proteins required for their mobilization. L1-encoded proteins also act in trans to mobilize short interspersed elements (SINEs), such as Alu elements. L1 and Alu insertions have been implicated in many human diseases, and their retrotransposition provides an ongoing source of human genetic diversity. L1/Alu elements are expected to ensure their transmission to subsequent generations by retrotransposing in germ cells or during early embryonic development. Here, we determined that several subfamilies of Alu elements are expressed in undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and that most expressed Alu elements are active elements. We also exploited expression from the L1 antisense promoter to map expressed elements in hESCs. Remarkably, we found that expressed Alu elements are enriched in the youngest subfamily, Y, and that expressed L1s are mostly located within genes, suggesting an epigenetic control of retrotransposon expression in hESCs. Together, these data suggest that distinct subsets of active L1/Alu elements are expressed in hESCs and that the degree of somatic mosaicism attributable to L1 insertions during early development may be higher than previously anticipated.
Project description:SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA) elements are non-autonomous, hominid-specific non-LTR retrotransposons and distinguished by their organization as composite mobile elements. They represent the evolutionarily youngest, currently active family of human non-LTR retrotransposons, and sporadically generate disease-causing insertions. Since preexisting, genomic SVA sequences are characterized by structural hallmarks of Long Interspersed Elements 1 (LINE-1, L1)-mediated retrotransposition, it has been hypothesized for several years that SVA elements are mobilized by the L1 protein machinery in trans. To test this hypothesis, we developed an SVA retrotransposition reporter assay in cell culture using three different human-specific SVA reporter elements. We demonstrate that SVA elements are mobilized in HeLa cells only in the presence of both L1-encoded proteins, ORF1p and ORF2p. SVA trans-mobilization rates exceeded pseudogene formation frequencies by 12- to 300-fold in HeLa-HA cells, indicating that SVA elements represent a preferred substrate for L1 proteins. Acquisition of an AluSp element increased the trans-mobilization frequency of the SVA reporter element by ~25-fold. Deletion of (CCCTCT)(n) repeats and Alu-like region of a canonical SVA reporter element caused significant attenuation of the SVA trans-mobilization rate. SVA de novo insertions were predominantly full-length, occurred preferentially in G+C-rich regions, and displayed all features of L1-mediated retrotransposition which are also observed in preexisting genomic SVA insertions.
Project description:LINE-1 (L1) retroelements emerged in mammalian genomes over 80 million years ago with a few dominant subfamilies amplifying over discrete time periods that led to distinct human and mouse L1 lineages. We evaluated the functional conservation of L1 sequences by comparing retrotransposition rates of chimeric human-rodent L1 constructs to their parental L1 counterparts. Although amino acid conservation varies from ?35% to 63% for the L1 ORF1p and ORF2p, most human and mouse L1 sequences can be functionally exchanged. Replacing either ORF1 or ORF2 to create chimeric human-mouse L1 elements did not adversely affect retrotransposition. The mouse ORF2p retains retrotransposition-competency to support both Alu and L1 mobilization when any of the domain sequences we evaluated were substituted with human counterparts. However, the substitution of portions of the mouse cys-domain into the human ORF2p reduces both L1 retrotransposition and Alu trans-mobilization by 200-1000 fold. The observed loss of ORF2p function is independent of the endonuclease or reverse transcriptase activities of ORF2p and RNA interaction required for reverse transcription. In addition, the loss of function is physically separate from the cysteine-rich motif sequence previously shown to be required for RNP formation. Our data suggest an additional role of the less characterized carboxy-terminus of the L1 ORF2 protein by demonstrating that this domain, in addition to mediating RNP interaction(s), provides an independent and required function for the retroelement amplification process. Our experiments show a functional modularity of most of the LINE sequences. However, divergent evolution of interactions within L1 has led to non-reciprocal incompatibilities between human and mouse ORF2 cys-domain sequences.