Direct comparison of distinct naive pluripotent states in human embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Until recently, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were shown to exist in a state of primed pluripotency, while mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) display a naive or primed pluripotent state. Here we show the rapid conversion of in-house-derived primed hESCs on mouse embryonic feeder layer (MEF) to a naive state within 5-6 days in naive conversion media (NCM-MEF), 6-10 days in naive human stem cell media (NHSM-MEF) and 14-20 days using the reverse-toggle protocol (RT-MEF). We further observe enhanced unbiased lineage-specific differentiation potential of naive hESCs converted in NCM-MEF, however, all naive hESCs fail to differentiate towards functional cell types. RNA-seq analysis reveals a divergent role of PI3K/AKT/mTORC signalling, specifically of the mTORC2 subunit, in the different naive hESCs. Overall, we demonstrate a direct evaluation of several naive culture conditions performed in the same laboratory, thereby contributing to an unbiased, more in-depth understanding of different naive hESCs.
Project description:Naive human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be derived from primed hESCs or directly from blastocysts, but their X chromosome state has remained unresolved. Here, we show that the inactive X chromosome (Xi) of primed hESCs was reactivated in naive culture conditions. Like cells of the blastocyst, the resulting naive cells contained two active X chromosomes with XIST expression and chromosome-wide transcriptional dampening and initiated XIST-mediated X inactivation upon differentiation. Both establishment of and exit from the naive state (differentiation) happened via an XIST-negative XaXa intermediate. Together, these findings identify a cell culture system for functionally exploring the two X chromosome dosage compensation processes in early human development: X dampening and X inactivation. However, remaining differences between naive hESCs and embryonic cells related to mono-allelic XIST expression and non-random X inactivation highlight the need for further culture improvement. As the naive state resets Xi abnormalities seen in primed hESCs, it may provide cells better suited for downstream applications.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) typically exhibit "primed" pluripotency, analogous to stem cells derived from the mouse post-implantation epiblast. This has led to a search for growth conditions that support self-renewal of hESCs akin to hypomethylated naive epiblast cells in human pre-implantation embryos. We have discovered that reverting primed hESCs to a hypomethylated naive state or deriving a new hESC line under naive conditions results in the establishment of Stage Specific Embryonic Antigen 4 (SSEA4)-negative hESC lines with a transcriptional program resembling the human pre-implantation epiblast. In contrast, we discovered that the methylome of naive hESCs in vitro is distinct from that of the human epiblast in vivo with loss of DNA methylation at primary imprints and a lost "memory" of the methylation state of the human oocyte. This failure to recover the naive epiblast methylation landscape appears to be a consistent feature of self-renewing hypomethylated naive hESCs in vitro.
Project description:For nearly a century developmental biologists have recognized that cells from embryos can differ in their potential to differentiate into distinct cell types. Recently, it has been recognized that embryonic stem cells derived from both mice and humans exhibit two stable yet epigenetically distinct states of pluripotency: naive and primed. We now show that nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) and the metabolic state regulate pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Specifically, in naive hESCs, NNMT and its enzymatic product 1-methylnicotinamide are highly upregulated, and NNMT is required for low S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) levels and the H3K27me3 repressive state. NNMT consumes SAM in naive cells, making it unavailable for histone methylation that represses Wnt and activates the HIF pathway in primed hESCs. These data support the hypothesis that the metabolome regulates the epigenetic landscape of the earliest steps in human development.
Project description:The rate of glycolytic metabolism changes during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency. However, the functional contribution of glycolytic metabolism to the pluripotent state is unclear. Here we show that naive hESCs exhibit increased glycolytic flux, MYC transcriptional activity, and nuclear N-MYC localization relative to primed hESCs. This status is consistent with the inner cell mass of human blastocysts, where MYC transcriptional activity is higher than in primed hESCs and nuclear N-MYC levels are elevated. Reduction of glycolysis decreases self-renewal of naive hESCs and feeder-free primed hESCs, but not primed hESCs grown in feeder-supported conditions. Reduction of glycolysis in feeder-free primed hESCs also enhances neural specification. These findings reveal associations between glycolytic metabolism and human naive pluripotency and differences in the metabolism of feeder-/feeder-free cultured hESCs. They may also suggest methods for regulating self-renewal and initial cell fate specification of hESCs.
Project description:It is now well recognized that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)1 closely resemble mouse epiblast stem cells (mEpiSCs)2-5 exhibiting primed pluripotency unlike mouse ESCs (mESCs) which acquire a naïve pluripotent state4-8. Efforts have been made to trigger naïve pluripotency in hESCs9-11 for subsequent unbiased lineage-specific differentiation, a common conundrum faced by primed pluripotent hESCs due to heterogeneity in gene expression existing within and between hESC lines12. We report here a novel culture medium facilitating rapid induction of naïve pluripotency in established hESCs. Our medium also allows derivation of naïve mESCs from blastocyst stage which has not been shown earlier. The established naïve hESCs could survive long-term single cell passaging, maintain a normal karyotype, exhibit upregulation of naïve pluripotency genes and were dependent on signaling pathways similar to naïve mESCs. Also, they undergo global DNA demethylation, cluster together with previously described naïve hESCs13 and show a distinctive long non-coding RNA profile. Collectively, we demonstrate an alternate route to capture naïve pluripotency in hESCs which is fast, reproducible, can be employed to derive naïve mESCs and can induce efficient differentiation. Three primed and matching naive human embryonic stem cell lines were profiled in duplo.
Project description:Recent progress has enabled the conversion of primed human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to the naive state of pluripotency, resembling the well-characterized naive mouse ESCs (mESCs). However, a thorough histone epigenetic characterization of this conversion process is currently lacking, while its likeness to the mouse model has not been clearly established. Here, we profile the histone epigenome of hESCs during conversion in a time-resolved experimental design, using an untargeted mass spectrometry-based approach. In total, 23 histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) changed significantly over time. H3K27Me3 was the most prominently increasing marker hPTM in naive hESCs. This is in line with previous reports in mouse, prompting us to compare all the shared hPTM fold changes between mouse and human, revealing a set of conserved hPTM markers for the naive state. Principally, we present the first roadmap of the changing human histone epigenome during the conversion of hESCs from the primed to the naive state. This further revealed similarities with mouse, which hint at a conserved mammalian epigenetic signature of the ground state of pluripotency.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be captured in a primed state in which they resemble the postimplantation epiblast, or in a naive state where they resemble the preimplantation epiblast. Naive-cell-specific culture conditions allow the study of preimplantation development ex vivo but reportedly lead to chromosomal abnormalities, which compromises their utility in research and potential therapeutic applications. Although MEK inhibition is essential for the naive state, here we show that reduced MEK inhibition facilitated the establishment and maintenance of naive hESCs that retained naive-cell-specific features, including global DNA hypomethylation, HERVK expression, and two active X chromosomes. We further show that hESCs cultured under these modified conditions proliferated more rapidly; accrued fewer chromosomal abnormalities; and displayed changes in the phosphorylation levels of MAPK components, regulators of DNA damage/repair, and cell cycle. We thus provide a simple modification to current methods that can enable robust growth and reduced genomic instability in naive hESCs.
Project description:We report a novel culture condition inducing naive pluripotency in hESCs in a rapid, robust and reproducible way. These naive hESCs were similar to mESCs exhibiting domed colony morphology, increased single survival, reduced doubling time, upregulation of naive pluripotency-specific genes, unbiased lineage-specific differentiation, hypomethylation, separate clustering profile from parental primed hESCs and were dependent on signalling pathways similar to naive mESCs. Global DNA methylation analysis of naive hESCs and their parental primed hESC counterparts.
Project description:Deciphering the regulatory network for human naive and primed pluripotency is of fundamental theoretical and applicable significance. Here, by combining quantitative proteomics, phosphoproteomics, and acetylproteomics analyses, we revealed RNA processing and translation as the most differentially regulated processes between naive and primed human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Although glycolytic primed hESCs rely predominantly on the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-mediated cap-dependent pathway for protein translation, naive hESCs with reduced mammalian target of rapamycin complex (mTORC1) activity are more tolerant to eIF4E inhibition, and their bivalent metabolism allows for translating selective mRNAs via both eIF4E-dependent and eIF4E-independent/eIF4A2-dependent pathways to form a more compact naive proteome. Globally up-regulated proteostasis and down-regulated post-translational modifications help to further refine the naive proteome that is compatible with the more rapid cycling of naive hESCs, where CDK1 plays an indispensable coordinative role. These findings may assist in better understanding the unrestricted lineage potential of naive hESCs and in further optimizing conditions for future clinical applications.
Project description:Naive human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have been isolated that more closely resemble the pre-implantation epiblast compared to conventional "primed" hESCs, but the signaling principles underlying these discrete stem cell states remain incompletely understood. Here, we describe the results from a high-throughput screen using ∼3,000 well-annotated compounds to identify essential signaling requirements for naive human pluripotency. We report that MEK1/2 inhibitors can be replaced during maintenance of naive human pluripotency by inhibitors targeting either upstream (FGFR, RAF) or downstream (ERK1/2) kinases. Naive hESCs maintained under these alternative conditions display elevated levels of ERK phosphorylation but retain genome-wide DNA hypomethylation and a transcriptional identity of the pre-implantation epiblast. In contrast, dual inhibition of MEK and ERK promotes efficient primed-to-naive resetting in combination with PKC, ROCK, and TNKS inhibitors and activin A. This work demonstrates that induction and maintenance of naive human pluripotency are governed by distinct signaling requirements.