Comprehensive Mapping of Pluripotent Stem Cell Metabolism Using Dynamic Genome-Scale Network Modeling.
ABSTRACT: Metabolism is an emerging stem cell hallmark tied to cell fate, pluripotency, and self-renewal, yet systems-level understanding of stem cell metabolism has been limited by the lack of genome-scale network models. Here, we develop a systems approach to integrate time-course metabolomics data with a computational model of metabolism to analyze the metabolic state of naive and primed murine pluripotent stem cells. Using this approach, we find that one-carbon metabolism involving phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase, folate synthesis, and nucleotide synthesis is a key pathway that differs between the two states, resulting in differential sensitivity to anti-folates. The model also predicts that the pluripotency factor Lin28 regulates this one-carbon metabolic pathway, which we validate using metabolomics data from Lin28-deficient cells. Moreover, we identify and validate metabolic reactions related to S-adenosyl-methionine production that can differentially impact histone methylation in naive and primed cells. Our network-based approach provides a framework for characterizing metabolic changes influencing pluripotency and cell fate.
Project description:Signalling and post-transcriptional gene control are both critical for the regulation of pluripotency, yet how they are integrated to influence cell identity remains poorly understood. LIN28 (also known as LIN28A), a highly conserved RNA-binding protein, has emerged as a central post-transcriptional regulator of cell fate through blockade of let-7 microRNA biogenesis and direct modulation of mRNA translation. Here we show that LIN28 is phosphorylated by MAPK/ERK in pluripotent stem cells, which increases its levels via post-translational stabilization. LIN28 phosphorylation had little impact on let-7 but enhanced the effect of LIN28 on its direct mRNA targets, revealing a mechanism that uncouples LIN28's let-7-dependent and -independent activities. We have linked this mechanism to the induction of pluripotency by somatic cell reprogramming and the transition from naive to primed pluripotency. Collectively, our findings indicate that MAPK/ERK directly impacts LIN28, defining an axis that connects signalling, post-transcriptional gene control, and cell fate regulation.
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:Pluripotency is increasingly recognized as a spectrum of cell states defined by their growth conditions. Although naive and primed pluripotency states have been characterized molecularly, our understanding of events regulating state acquisition is wanting. Here, we performed comparative RNA sequencing of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and defined a pluripotent cell fate (PCF) gene signature associated with acquisition of naive and primed pluripotency. We identify Zfp281 as a key transcriptional regulator for primed pluripotency that also functions as a barrier toward achieving naive pluripotency in both mouse and human ESCs. Mechanistically, Zfp281 interacts with Tet1, but not Tet2, and its direct transcriptional target, miR-302/367, to negatively regulate Tet2 expression to establish and maintain primed pluripotency. Conversely, ectopic Tet2 alone, but not Tet1, efficiently reprograms primed cells toward naive pluripotency. Our study reveals a molecular circuitry in which opposing functions of Tet1 and Tet2 control acquisition of alternative pluripotent states.
Project description:Promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML), the main constituent of PML nuclear bodies, regulates various physiological processes in different cell types. However, little is known about its functions in embryonic stem cells (ESC). Here, we report that PML contributes to ESC self-renewal maintenance by controlling cell-cycle progression and sustaining the expression of crucial pluripotency factors. Transcriptomic analysis and gain- or loss-of-function approaches showed that PML-deficient ESC exhibit morphological, metabolic, and growth properties distinct to naive and closer to the primed pluripotent state. During differentiation of embryoid bodies, PML influences cell-fate decisions between mesoderm and endoderm by controlling the expression of Tbx3. PML loss compromises the reprogramming ability of embryonic fibroblasts to induced pluripotent stem cells by inhibiting the transforming growth factor ? pathway at the very early stages. Collectively, these results designate PML as a member of the regulatory network for ESC naive pluripotency and somatic cell reprogramming.
Project description:Polycomb repressive complex 2 and the epigenetic mark that it deposits, H3K27me3, are evolutionarily conserved and play critical roles in development and cancer. However, their roles in cell fate decisions in early embryonic development remain poorly understood. Here we report that knockout of polycomb repressive complex 2 genes in human embryonic stem cells causes pluripotency loss and spontaneous differentiation toward a meso-endoderm fate, owing to de-repression of BMP signalling. Moreover, human embryonic stem cells with deletion of EZH1 or EZH2 fail to differentiate into ectoderm lineages. We further show that polycomb repressive complex 2-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells also release Bmp4 but retain their pluripotency. However, when converted into a primed state, they undergo spontaneous differentiation similar to that of hESCs. In contrast, polycomb repressive complex 2 is dispensable for pluripotency when human embryonic stem cells are converted into the naive state. Our studies reveal both lineage- and pluripotent state-specific roles of polycomb repressive complex 2 in cell fate decisions.Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) plays an essential role in development by modifying chromatin but what this means at a cellular level is unclear. Here, the authors show that ablation of PRC2 genes in human embryonic stem cells and in mice results in changes in pluripotency and the primed state of cells.
Project description:The molecular mechanism controlling the dismantling of naive pluripotency is poorly understood. Here we show that microRNAs (miRNAs) have important roles during naive to primed pluripotency transition. Dgcr8(-/-) embryonic stem cells (ESCs) failed to completely silence the naive pluripotency program, as well as to establish the primed pluripotency program during differentiation. miRNA profiling revealed that expression levels of a large number of miRNAs changed dynamically and rapidly during naive to primed pluripotency transition. Furthermore, a miRNA screen identified numerous miRNAs promoting naive to primed pluripotency transition. Unexpectedly, multiple miRNAs from miR-290 and miR-302 clusters, previously shown as pluripotency-promoting miRNAs, demonstrated the strongest effects in silencing naive pluripotency. Knockout of both miR-290 and miR-302 clusters but not either alone blocked the silencing of naive pluripotency program. Mechanistically, the miR-290/302 family of miRNAs may facilitate the exit of naive pluripotency in part by promoting the activity of MEK pathway and through directly repressing Akt1. Our study reveals miRNAs as an important class of regulators potentiating ESCs to transition from naive to primed pluripotency, and uncovers context-dependent functions of the miR-290/302 family of miRNAs at different developmental stages.
Project description:Conventional generation of stem cells from human blastocysts produces a developmentally advanced, or primed, stage of pluripotency. In vitro resetting to a more naive phenotype has been reported. However, whether the reset culture conditions of selective kinase inhibition can enable capture of naive epiblast cells directly from the embryo has not been determined. Here, we show that in these specific conditions individual inner cell mass cells grow into colonies that may then be expanded over multiple passages while retaining a diploid karyotype and naive properties. The cells express hallmark naive pluripotency factors and additionally display features of mitochondrial respiration, global gene expression, and genome-wide hypomethylation distinct from primed cells. They transition through primed pluripotency into somatic lineage differentiation. Collectively these attributes suggest classification as human naive embryonic stem cells. Human counterparts of canonical mouse embryonic stem cells would argue for conservation in the phased progression of pluripotency in mammals.
Project description:Conventional human embryonic stem cells are considered to be primed pluripotent but can be induced to enter a naive state. However, the transcriptional features associated with naive and primed pluripotency are still not fully understood. Here we used single-cell RNA sequencing to characterize the differences between these conditions. We observed that both naive and primed populations were mostly homogeneous with no clear lineage-related structure and identified an intermediate subpopulation of naive cells with primed-like expression. We found that the naive-primed pluripotency axis is preserved across species, although the timing of the transition to a primed state is species specific. We also identified markers for distinguishing human naive and primed pluripotency as well as strong co-regulatory relationships between lineage markers and epigenetic regulators that were exclusive to naive cells. Our data provide valuable insights into the transcriptional landscape of human pluripotency at a cellular and genome-wide resolution.
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:Metabolites and cofactors are emerging as key regulators of cell plasticity and reprogramming, and their role in the control of pluripotency is just being discovered. Here we provide unprecedented evidence that embryonic stem cell (ESC) pluripotency relies on the relative levels of two physiological metabolites, namely ascorbic acid (vitamin C, VitC) and l-proline (l-Pro), which affect global DNA methylation, transcriptional profile, and energy metabolism. Specifically, while a high VitC/l-Pro ratio drives ESCs toward a naive state, the opposite condition (l-Pro excess) captures a fully reversible early primed pluripotent state, which depends on autocrine fibroblast growth factor and transforming growth factor ? signaling pathways. Our findings highlight the pivotal role of metabolites availability in controlling the pluripotency continuum from naive to primed states.