Local Genome Topology Can Exhibit an Incompletely Rewired 3D-Folding State during Somatic Cell Reprogramming.
ABSTRACT: Pluripotent genomes are folded in a topological hierarchy that reorganizes during differentiation. The extent to which chromatin architecture is reconfigured during somatic cell reprogramming is poorly understood. Here we integrate fine-resolution architecture maps with epigenetic marks and gene expression in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), neural progenitor cells (NPCs), and NPC-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We find that most pluripotency genes reconnect to target enhancers during reprogramming. Unexpectedly, some NPC interactions around pluripotency genes persist in our iPSC clone. Pluripotency genes engaged in both "fully-reprogrammed" and "persistent-NPC" interactions exhibit over/undershooting of target expression levels in iPSCs. Additionally, we identify a subset of "poorly reprogrammed" interactions that do not reconnect in iPSCs and display only partially recovered, ESC-specific CTCF occupancy. 2i/LIF can abrogate persistent-NPC interactions, recover poorly reprogrammed interactions, reinstate CTCF occupancy, and restore expression levels. Our results demonstrate that iPSC genomes can exhibit imperfectly rewired 3D-folding linked to inaccurately reprogrammed gene expression.
Project description:CTCF is an architectural protein with a critical role in connecting higher-order chromatin folding in pluripotent stem cells. Recent reports have suggested that CTCF binding is more dynamic during development than previously appreciated. Here, we set out to understand the extent to which shifts in genome-wide CTCF occupancy contribute to the 3D reconfiguration of fine-scale chromatin folding during early neural lineage commitment. Unexpectedly, we observe a sharp decrease in CTCF occupancy during the transition from naïve/primed pluripotency to multipotent primary neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Many pluripotency gene-enhancer interactions are anchored by CTCF, and its occupancy is lost in parallel with loop decommissioning during differentiation. Conversely, CTCF binding sites in NPCs are largely preexisting in pluripotent stem cells. Only a small number of CTCF sites arise de novo in NPCs. We identify another zinc finger protein, Yin Yang 1 (YY1), at the base of looping interactions between NPC-specific genes and enhancers. Putative NPC-specific enhancers exhibit strong YY1 signal when engaged in 3D contacts and negligible YY1 signal when not in loops. Moreover, siRNA knockdown of Yy1 specifically disrupts interactions between key NPC enhancers and their target genes. YY1-mediated interactions between NPC regulatory elements are often nested within constitutive loops anchored by CTCF. Together, our results support a model in which YY1 acts as an architectural protein to connect developmentally regulated looping interactions; the location of YY1-mediated interactions may be demarcated in development by a preexisting topological framework created by constitutive CTCF-mediated interactions.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the potential for creating patient-specific regenerative medicine therapies, but the links between pluripotency and tumorigenicity raise important safety concerns. More specifically, the methods employed for the production of iPSCs and oncogenic foci (OF), a form of in vitro produced tumor cells, are surprisingly similar, raising potential concerns about iPSCs. To test the hypotheses that iPSCs and OF are related cell types and, more broadly, that the induction of pluripotency and tumorigenicity are related processes, we produced iPSCs and OF in parallel from common parental fibroblasts. When we compared the transcriptomes of these iPSCs and OF to their parental fibroblasts, similar transcriptional changes were observed in both iPSCs and OF. A significant number of genes repressed during the iPSC formation were also repressed in OF, including a large cohort of differentiation-associated genes. iPSCs and OF shared a limited number of genes that were upregulated relative to parental fibroblasts, but gene ontology analysis pointed toward monosaccharide metabolism as upregulated in both iPSCs and OF. iPSCs and OF were distinct in that only iPSCs activated a host of pluripotency-related genes, while OF activated cellular damage and specific metabolic pathways. We reprogrammed oncogenic foci (ROF) to produce iPSC-like cells, a process dependent on Nanog. However, the ROF had reduced differentiation potential compared to iPSC, suggesting that oncogenic transformation leads to cellular changes that impair complete reprogramming. Taken together, these findings support a model in which OF and iPSCs are related, yet distinct cell types, and in which induced pluripotency and induced tumorigenesis are similar processes.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells, like embryonic stem cells (ESCs), have specialized epigenetic landscapes, which are important for pluripotency maintenance. Transcription factor-mediated generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) requires global change of somatic cell epigenetic status into an ESC-like state. Accumulating evidence indicates that epigenetic mechanisms not only play important roles in the iPSC generation process, but also affect the properties of reprogrammed iPSCs. Understanding the roles of various epigenetic factors in iPSC generation contributes to our knowledge of the reprogramming mechanisms.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells offer unprecedented potential not only for human medicine but also for veterinary medicine, particularly in relation to the horse. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are particularly promising, as they are functionally similar to embryonic stem cells and can be generated in vitro in a patient-specific manner. In this study, we report the generation of equine iPSCs from skin fibroblasts obtained from a foal and reprogrammed using viral vectors coding for murine Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 sequences. The reprogrammed cell lines were morphologically similar to iPSCs reported from other species and could be stably maintained over more than 30 passages. Immunostaining and polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that these cell lines expressed an array of endogenous markers associated with pluripotency, including OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, REX1, LIN28, SSEA1, SSEA4, and TRA1-60. Furthermore, under the appropriate conditions, the equine iPSCs readily formed embryoid bodies and differentiated in vitro into cells expressing markers of ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm, and when injected into immunodeficient mice, gave raise to tumors containing differentiated derivatives of the 3 germ layers. Finally, we also reprogrammed fibroblasts from a 2-year-old horse. The reprogrammed cells were similar to iPSCs derived from neonatal fibroblasts in terms of morphology, expression of pluripotency markers, and differentiation ability. The generation of these novel cell lines constitutes an important step toward the understanding of pluripotency in the horse, and paves the way for iPSC technology to potentially become a powerful research and clinical tool in veterinary biomedicine.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are usually generated by reprogramming somatic cells through transduction with a transcription factor cocktail. However, the low efficiency of this procedure has kept iPSCs away from the study of the clinical application of stem cell biology. Our research shows that continuous passage increases the efficiency of reprogramming. Compared with conventional method of establishment of iPSCs, more embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like clones are generated by continuous passage during early reprogramming. These inchoate clones, indistinguishable from genuine ESC clones, are closer to fully reprogrammed cells compared with those derived from classical iPSC induction, which increased the expression of pluripotent gene markers and the levels of demethylation of Oct4 and Nanog. These results suggested that full reprogramming is a gradual process that does not merely end at the point of the activation of endogenous pluripotency-associated genes. Continuous passage could increase the pluripotency of induced cells and accelerate the process of reprogramming by epigenetic modification. In brief, we have provided an advanced strategy to accelerate the reprogramming and generate more nearly fully reprogrammed iPSCs efficiently and rapidly.
Project description:Reprogramming of cancer cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens up the possibility of converting malignant cells into any cell type, including those best suited to be developed as cancer vaccines. Mouse models are needed to evaluate and optimize the therapeutic efficacy of such novel cancer vaccines. However, only human cancer cell lines have been reported as being reprogrammed into iPSCs. Here, we report a proof-of-principle study which shows that mouse cancer cells can be reprogrammed into iPSCs that are capable of subsequent differentiation. Four canonical reprogramming transcription factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, were introduced by plasmid transfection into mouse Lewis lung carcinoma D122 harboring Nanog-GFP reporter. Green fluorescent cells were found clustered into embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like colonies expressing ESC markers, Oct4 and SSEA-1. Bisulfite genomic sequencing analyses of these cells revealed hypomethylation of the Nanog promoter. The expression of a host of pluripotency genes by these reprogrammed cells at levels similar to those of ESCs was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Functional pluripotency of the reprogrammed cells was demonstrated by their ability to form embryoid bodies and differentiate into neuronal progenitors on retinoic acid treatment. This study indicates the feasibility of developing iPSC-based experimental cancer vaccines for immunotherapy in mouse models.
Project description:The value of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) within regenerative medicine is contingent on predictable and consistent iPSC differentiation. However, residual influence of the somatic origin or reprogramming technique may variegate differentiation propensity and confound comparative genotype/phenotype analyses. The objective of this study was to define quality control measures to select iPSC clones that minimize the influence of somatic origin on differentiation propensity independent of the reprogramming strategy. More than 60 murine iPSC lines were derived from different fibroblast origins (embryonic, cardiac, and tail tip) via lentiviral integration and doxycycline-induced transgene expression. Despite apparent equivalency according to established iPSC histologic and cytomorphologic criteria, clustering of clonal variability in pluripotency-related gene expression identified transcriptional outliers that highlighted cell lines with unpredictable cardiogenic propensity. Following selection according to a standardized gene expression profile calibrated by embryonic stem cells, the influence of somatic origin on iPSC methylation and transcriptional patterns was negated. Furthermore, doxycycline-induced iPSCs consistently demonstrated earlier differentiation than lentiviral-reprogrammed lines using contractile cardiac tissue as a measure of functional differentiation. Moreover, delayed cardiac differentiation was predominately associated with upregulation in pluripotency-related gene expression upon differentiation. Starting from a standardized pool of iPSCs, relative expression levels of two pluripotency genes, Oct4 and Zfp42, statistically correlated with enhanced cardiogenicity independent of somatic origin or reprogramming strategy (R(2) ?=?0.85). These studies demonstrate that predictable iPSC differentiation is independent of somatic origin with standardized gene expression selection criteria, while the residual impact of reprogramming strategy greatly influences predictable output of tissue-specification required for comparative genotype/phenotype analyses.
Project description:In the field of disease modeling, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have become an appealing choice, especially for diseases that do not have an animal model. They can be generated from patients with known clinical features and compared with cells from healthy controls to identify the biological bases of disease. This study was undertaken to determine the variability in iPSC lines derived from different individuals, with the aim of determining criteria for selecting iPSC lines for disease models. We generated and characterized 18 iPSC lines from eight donors and considered variability at three levels: (a) variability in the criteria that define iPSC lines as pluripotent cells, (b) variability in cell lines from different donors, and (c) variability in cell lines from the same donor. We found that variability in transgene expression and pluripotency marker levels did not prevent iPSCs from fulfilling all other criteria for pluripotency, including teratoma formation. We found low interindividual and interclonal variability in iPSCs that fulfilled the most stringent criteria for pluripotency, with very high correlation in their gene expression profiles. Interestingly, some cell lines exhibited reprogramming instability, spontaneously regressing from a fully to a partially reprogrammed state. This was associated with a low percentage of cells expressing the pluripotency marker stage-specific embryonic antigen-4. Our study shows that it is possible to define a similar "ground state" for each cell line as the basis for making patient versus control comparisons, an essential step in order to identify disease-associated variability above individual and cell line variability.
Project description:It has been suggested that the transcription factor Nanog is essential for the establishment of pluripotency during the derivation of embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. However, successful reprogramming to pluripotency with a growing list of divergent transcription factors, at ever increasing efficiencies, suggests that there may be many distinct routes to a pluripotent state. Here, we have investigated whether Nanog is necessary for reprogramming murine fibroblasts under highly efficient conditions using the canonical reprogramming factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and cMyc. In agreement with prior results, the efficiency of reprogramming Nanog-/- fibroblasts was significantly lower than that of control fibroblasts. However, in contrast to previous findings, we were able to reproducibly generate iPS cells from Nanog-/- fibroblasts that effectively contributed to chimeric mice. Thus while Nanog may be an important mediator of reprogramming it is not required for establishing pluripotency in the mouse, even under standard conditions. In order to further evaluate the equivalency of Nanog null iPSC to nanog null ESCs, we have performed RNAseq on two independent nanog null iPSC lines, as well as Nanog Null ESC, WT ESC and iPSCs as well as MEFs. As a negativve control for reprogramming we have analyzed a partially reprogrammed iPSC line. 2-4 biological replicates each of 7 conditions (WT MEFs, WT ESC, WT iPSC, WT partially reprogrammed iPSC (piPS), Nanog null ESC, Nanog null iPSC clone G2 and Nanog null iPSC clone G5)
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although recent studies have identified genes expressed in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that induce pluripotency, the molecular underpinnings of normal stem cell function remain poorly understood. The high mobility group A1 (HMGA1) gene is highly expressed in hESCs and poorly differentiated, stem-like cancers; however, its role in these settings has been unclear. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We show that HMGA1 is highly expressed in fully reprogrammed iPSCs and hESCs, with intermediate levels in ECCs and low levels in fibroblasts. When hESCs are induced to differentiate, HMGA1 decreases and parallels that of other pluripotency factors. Conversely, forced expression of HMGA1 blocks differentiation of hESCs. We also discovered that HMGA1 enhances cellular reprogramming of somatic cells to iPSCs together with the Yamanaka factors (OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC - OSKM). HMGA1 increases the number and size of iPSC colonies compared to OSKM controls. Surprisingly, there was normal differentiation in vitro and benign teratoma formation in vivo of the HMGA1-derived iPSCs. During the reprogramming process, HMGA1 induces the expression of pluripotency genes, including SOX2, LIN28, and cMYC, while knockdown of HMGA1 in hESCs results in the repression of these genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation shows that HMGA1 binds to the promoters of these pluripotency genes in vivo. In addition, interfering with HMGA1 function using a short hairpin RNA or a dominant-negative construct blocks cellular reprogramming to a pluripotent state. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings demonstrate for the first time that HMGA1 enhances cellular reprogramming from a somatic cell to a fully pluripotent stem cell. These findings identify a novel role for HMGA1 as a key regulator of the stem cell state by inducing transcriptional networks that drive pluripotency. Although further studies are needed, these HMGA1 pathways could be exploited in regenerative medicine or as novel therapeutic targets for poorly differentiated, stem-like cancers.