PRDM14 Drives OCT3/4 Recruitment via Active Demethylation in the Transition from Primed to Naive Pluripotency.
ABSTRACT: Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified from epiblast cells in mice. Genes associated with naive pluripotency are repressed in the transition from inner cell mass to epiblast cells, followed by upregulation after PGC specification. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the reactivation of pluripotency genes are poorly characterized. Here, we exploited the in vitro differentiation of epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to elucidate the molecular and epigenetic functions of PR domain-containing 14 (PRDM14). We found that Prdm14 overexpression in EpiLCs induced their conversion to ESC-like cells even in the absence of leukemia inhibitory factor in adherent culture. This was impaired by the loss of Kruppel-like factor 2 and ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins. Furthermore, PRDM14 recruited OCT3/4 to the enhancer regions of naive pluripotency genes via TET-base excision repair-mediated demethylation. Our results provide evidence that PRDM14 establishes a transcriptional network for naive pluripotency via active DNA demethylation.
Project description:Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are specified from epiblast cells in mice. Genes associated with naïve pluripotency are transiently repressed in the transition from inner cell mass (ICM) to epiblast cells, followed by their upregulation soon after PGC specification. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the reactivation of pluripotency genes are poorly characterized. Here, we exploited in vitro differentiation of epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to elucidate the molecular and epigenetic functions of PR domain-containing 14 (PRDM14). We found that Prdm14 overexpression in EpiLCs induced their conversion to ESC-like cells even in the absence of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). This was impaired by the loss of Kruppel-like factor 2 (Klf2) and ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins. Furthermore, PRDM14 recruited OCT3/4 to the enhancer regions of naïve pluripotency genes via TET-base excision-repair-mediated demethylation. Our results provide evidence that PRDM14 establishes a transcriptional network for naïve pluripotency via active DNA demethylation. Overall design: To investigate the function of TET1/TET2 in the transition form primed to naïve pluripotency, we exploited microarray analysis using total mRNA derived from Scramble, Scramble + PRDM14, Tet1/Tet2 KD, Tet1/Tet2 KD + PRDM14 mouse ESCs and EpiLCs.
Project description:Nanog, a core pluripotency factor in the inner cell mass of blastocysts, is also expressed in unipotent primordial germ cells (PGCs) in mice, where its precise role is yet unclear. We investigated this in an in vitro model, in which naive pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells cultured in basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and activin A develop as epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) and gain competence for a PGC-like fate. Consequently, bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), or ectopic expression of key germline transcription factors Prdm1, Prdm14 and Tfap2c, directly induce PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) in EpiLCs, but not in ES cells. Here we report an unexpected discovery that Nanog alone can induce PGCLCs in EpiLCs, independently of BMP4. We propose that after the dissolution of the naive ES-cell pluripotency network during establishment of EpiLCs, the epigenome is reset for cell fate determination. Indeed, we found genome-wide changes in NANOG-binding patterns between ES cells and EpiLCs, indicating epigenetic resetting of regulatory elements. Accordingly, we show that NANOG can bind and activate enhancers of Prdm1 and Prdm14 in EpiLCs in vitro; BLIMP1 (encoded by Prdm1) then directly induces Tfap2c. Furthermore, while SOX2 and NANOG promote the pluripotent state in ES cells, they show contrasting roles in EpiLCs, as Sox2 specifically represses PGCLC induction by Nanog. This study demonstrates a broadly applicable mechanistic principle for how cells acquire competence for cell fate determination, resulting in the context-dependent roles of key transcription factors during development.
Project description:Primordial germ cells (PGCs) and somatic cells originate from postimplantation epiblast cells in mice. As pluripotency is lost upon differentiation of somatic lineages, a naive epigenome and the pluripotency network are re-established during PGC development. Here we demonstrate that Prdm14 contributes not only to PGC specification, but also to naive pluripotency in embryonic stem (ES) cells by repressing the DNA methylation machinery and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling. This indicates a critical role for Prdm14 in programming PGCs and promoting pluripotency in ES cells.
Project description:The Tet 5-methylcytosine dioxygenases catalyze DNA demethylation by producing 5-hydroxymethylcytosine and further oxidized products. Tet1 and Tet2 are highly expressed in mouse pluripotent cells and downregulated to different extents in somatic cells, but the transcriptional mechanisms are unclear. Here we defined the promoter and enhancer domains in Tet1 and Tet2. Within a 15-kb "superenhancer" of Tet1, there are two transcription start sites (TSSs) with different activation patterns during development. A 6-kb promoter region upstream of the distal TSS is highly active in naive pluripotent cells, autonomously reports Tet1 expression in a transgenic system, and rapidly undergoes DNA methylation and silencing upon differentiation in cultured cells and native epiblast. A second TSS downstream, associated with a constitutively weak CpG-rich promoter, is activated by a neighboring enhancer in naive embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and primed epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs). Tet2 has a CpG island promoter with pluripotency-independent activity and an ESC-specific distal intragenic enhancer; the latter is rapidly downregulated in EpiLCs. Our study reveals distinct modes of transcriptional regulation at Tet1 and Tet2 during cell state transitions of early development. New transgenic reporters using Tet1 and Tet2 cis-regulatory domains may serve to distinguish nuanced changes in pluripotent states and the underlying epigenetic variations.
Project description:The enhancer landscape of pluripotent stem cells undergoes extensive reorganization during early mammalian development. The functions and mechanisms behind such reorganization, however, are unclear. Here, we show that the transcription factor GRHL2 is necessary and sufficient to activate an epithelial subset of enhancers as naive embryonic stem cells (ESCs) transition into formative epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs). Surprisingly, many GRHL2 target genes do not change in expression during the ESC-EpiLC transition. Instead, enhancers regulating these genes in ESCs diminish in activity in EpiLCs while GRHL2-dependent alternative enhancers become activated to maintain transcription. GRHL2 therefore assumes control over a subset of the naive network via enhancer switching to maintain expression of epithelial genes upon exit from naive pluripotency. These data evoke a model where the naive pluripotency network becomes partitioned into smaller, independent networks regulated by EpiLC-specific transcription factors, thereby priming cells for lineage specification.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) occupy a spectrum of reversible molecular states ranging from a naive ground-state in 2i, to metastable embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in serum, to lineage-primed epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs). To investigate the role of DNA methylation (5mC) across distinct pluripotent states, we mapped genome-wide 5mC and 5-hydroxymethycytosine (5hmC) in multiple PSCs. Ground-state ESCs exhibit an altered distribution of 5mC and 5hmC at regulatory elements and dramatically lower absolute levels relative to ESCs in serum. By contrast, EpiSCs exhibit increased promoter 5mC coupled with reduced 5hmC, which contributes to their developmental restriction. Switch to 2i triggers rapid onset of both the ground-state gene expression program and global DNA demethylation. Mechanistically, repression of de novo methylases by PRDM14 drives DNA demethylation at slow kinetics, whereas TET1/TET2-mediated 5hmC conversion enhances both the rate and extent of hypomethylation. These processes thus act synergistically during transition to ground-state pluripotency to promote a robust hypomethylated state.
Project description:Ten-eleven translocation (TET) proteins oxidize 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytsosine (5fC), and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). 5fC/5caC can be excised and repaired by the base excision repair (BER) pathway, implicating 5mC oxidation in active DNA demethylation. Genome-wide DNA methylation is erased in the transition from metastable states to ground state of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in migrating primordial germ cells (PGCs), while some resistant regions become demethylated only in gonadal PGCs. Understanding the mechanisms underlying global hypomethylation in naïve ESCs and developing PGCs will be useful for realizing cellular pluripotency and totipotency. In this study, we found that PRDM14, the PR-domain-containing transcriptional regulator, accelerates the TET-BER cycle, resulting in the promotion of active DNA demethylation in ESCs. Induction of PRDM14 expression rapidly removed the 5mC associated with transient elevation of 5hmC at pluripotency-associated genes, germline-specific genes, and imprinted loci but not across the entire genome, which resemble second wave of DNA demethylation in gonadal PGCs. PRDM14 physically interacts with TET1/TET2 and enhances the recruitment of TET1/TET2 at target loci. Knockdown of Tet1/Tet2 impaired transcriptional regulation and DNA demethylation by PRDM14. The repression of the BER pathway by administration of pharmacological inhibitors against APE1 and PARP1 and the knockdown of thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) also impaired DNA demethylation by PRDM14. Furthermore, DNA demethylation induced by PRDM14 normally takes place in the presence of aphidicolin, which is an inhibitor of G1/S progression. Together, our analysis provides mechanistic insight into DNA demethylation in naive pluripotent stem cells and developing PGCs. To investigate the function of TET1/TET2 in transcriptional regulation by PRDM14 in ESCs, we exploited microarray analysis using total mRNA derived from Scramble, Scramble + PRDM14, Tet1/Tet2 KD, Tet1/Tet2 KD + PRDM14 mouse ESC.
Project description:Epigenetic reprogramming in early germ cells is critical toward the establishment of totipotency, but investigations of the germline events are intractable. An objective cell culture-based system could provide mechanistic insight on how the key determinants of primordial germ cells (PGCs), including Prdm14, induce reprogramming in germ cells to an epigenetic ground state. Here we show a Prdm14-Klf2 synergistic effect that can accelerate and enhance reversion of mouse epiblast stem cells (epiSCs) to a naive pluripotent state, including X reactivation and DNA demethylation. Notably, Prdm14 alone has little effect on epiSC reversion, but it enhances the competence for reprogramming and potentially PGC specification. Reprogramming of epiSCs by the combinatorial effect of Prdm14-Klf2 involves key epigenetic changes, which might have an analogous role in PGCs. Our study provides a paradigm toward a systematic analysis of how other key genes contribute to complex and dynamic events of reprogramming in the germline.
Project description:Epiblast cells in the early post-implantation stage mammalian embryo undergo a transition described as lineage priming before cell fate allocation, but signaling pathways acting upstream remain ill defined. Genetic studies demonstrate that Smad2/3 double-mutant mouse embryos die shortly after implantation. To learn more about the molecular disturbances underlying this abrupt failure, here we characterized Smad2/3-deficient embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We found that Smad2/3 double-knockout ESCs induced to form epiblast-like cells (EpiLCs) display changes in naive and primed pluripotency marker gene expression, associated with the disruption of Oct4-bound distal regulatory elements. In the absence of Smad2/3, we observed enhanced Bmp target gene expression and de-repression of extra-embryonic gene expression. Cell fate allocation into all three embryonic germ layers is disrupted. Collectively, these experiments demonstrate that combinatorial Smad2/3 functional activities are required to maintain distinct embryonic and/or extra-embryonic cell identity during lineage priming in the epiblast before gastrulation.
Project description:Naive pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and embryonic germ cells (EGCs) are derived from the preimplantation epiblast and primordial germ cells (PGCs), respectively. We investigated whether differences exist between ESCs and EGCs, in view of their distinct developmental origins. PGCs are programmed to undergo global DNA demethylation; however, we find that EGCs and ESCs exhibit equivalent global DNA methylation levels. Inhibition of MEK and Gsk3b by 2i conditions leads to pronounced reduction in DNA methylation in both cell types. This is driven by Prdm14 and is associated with downregulation of Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b. However, genomic imprints are maintained in 2i, and we report derivation of EGCs with intact genomic imprints. Collectively, our findings establish that culture in 2i instills a naive pluripotent state with a distinctive epigenetic configuration that parallels molecular features observed in both the preimplantation epiblast and nascent PGCs.