TFAP2C regulates transcription in human naive pluripotency by opening enhancers.
ABSTRACT: Naive and primed pluripotent human embryonic stem cells bear transcriptional similarity to pre- and post-implantation epiblast and thus constitute a developmental model for understanding the pluripotent stages in human embryo development. To identify new transcription factors that differentially regulate the unique pluripotent stages, we mapped open chromatin using ATAC-seq and found enrichment of the activator protein-2 (AP2) transcription factor binding motif at naive-specific open chromatin. We determined that the AP2 family member TFAP2C is upregulated during primed to naive reversion and becomes widespread at naive-specific enhancers. TFAP2C functions to maintain pluripotency and repress neuroectodermal differentiation during the transition from primed to naive by facilitating the opening of enhancers proximal to pluripotency factors. Additionally, we identify a previously undiscovered naive-specific POU5F1 (OCT4) enhancer enriched for TFAP2C binding. Taken together, TFAP2C establishes and maintains naive human pluripotency and regulates OCT4 expression by mechanisms that are distinct from mouse.
Project description:Naive and primed pluripotent human embryonic stem cells bear transcriptional similarity to pre- and post-implantation epiblast and thus constitute a developmental model for understanding the pluripotent stages in human embryo development. To identify new transcription factors that differentially regulate the unique pluripotent stages, we mapped open chromatin using ATAC-seq and found enrichment of the activator protein-2 (AP2) transcription factor binding motif at naive-specific open chromatin. We determined that the AP2 family member TFAP2C is upregulated during primed to naive reversion and becomes widespread at naive-specific enhancers. TFAP2C functions to maintain pluripotency and repress neuroectodermal differentiation during the transition from primed to naive by facilitating the opening of enhancers proximal to pluripotency factors. Additionally, we identify a previously undiscovered naive-specific POU5F1 (OCT4) enhancer enriched for TFAP2C binding. Taken together, TFAP2C establishes and maintains naive human pluripotency and regulates OCT4 expression by mechanisms that are distinct from mouse. Overall design: This dataset includes 52 RNA-seq, 37 ATAC-seq and 20 ChIP-seq samples.
Project description:Human primordial germ cells (hPGCs) are the first embryonic progenitors in the germ cell lineage, yet the molecular mechanisms required for hPGC formation are not well characterized. To identify regulatory regions in hPGC development, we used the assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) to systematically characterize regions of open chromatin in hPGCs and hPGC-like cells (hPGCLCs) differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). We discovered regions of open chromatin unique to hPGCs and hPGCLCs that significantly overlap with TFAP2C-bound enhancers identified in the naive ground state of pluripotency. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we show that deleting the TFAP2C-bound naive enhancer at the OCT4 locus (also called POU5F1) results in impaired OCT4 expression and a negative effect on hPGCLC identity.
Project description:Naive and primed pluripotency is characterized by distinct signaling requirements, transcriptomes, and developmental properties, but both cellular states share key transcriptional regulators: Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog. Here, we demonstrate that transition between these two pluripotent states is associated with widespread Oct4 relocalization, mirrored by global rearrangement of enhancer chromatin landscapes. Our genomic and biochemical analyses identified candidate mediators of primed state-specific Oct4 binding, including Otx2 and Zic2/3. Even when differentiation cues are blocked, premature Otx2 overexpression is sufficient to exit the naive state, induce transcription of a substantial subset of primed pluripotency-associated genes, and redirect Oct4 to previously inaccessible enhancer sites. However, the ability of Otx2 to engage new enhancer regions is determined by its levels, cis-encoded properties of the sites, and the signaling environment. Our results illuminate regulatory mechanisms underlying pluripotency and suggest that the capacity of transcription factors such as Otx2 and Oct4 to pioneer new enhancer sites is highly context dependent.
Project description:The enhancer landscape is dramatically restructured as naive preimplantation epiblasts transition to the post-implantation state of primed pluripotency. A key factor in this process is Otx2, which is upregulated during the early stages of this transition and ultimately recruits Oct4 to a different set of enhancers. In this study, we discover that the acetylation status of Oct4 regulates the induction of the primed pluripotency gene network. Maintenance of the naive state requires the NAD-dependent deacetylase, SirT1, which deacetylates Oct4. The activity of SirT1 is reduced during the naive-to-primed transition; Oct4 becomes hyper-acetylated and binds to an Otx2 enhancer to induce Otx2 expression. Induction of Otx2 causes the reorganization of acetylated Oct4 and results in the induction of the primed pluripotency gene network. Regulation of Oct4 by SirT1 may link stem cell development to environmental conditions, and it may provide strategies to manipulate epiblast cell state.
Project description:In vitro gametogenesis is the process of making germline cells from human pluripotent stem cells. The foundation of this model is the quality of the first progenitors called primordial germ cells (PGCs), which in vivo are specified during the peri-implantation window of human development. Here, we show that human PGC (hPGC) specification begins at day 12 post-fertilization. Using single-cell RNA sequencing of hPGC-like cells (hPGCLCs) differentiated from pluripotent stem cells, we discovered that hPGCLC specification involves resetting pluripotency toward a transitional state with shared characteristics between naive and primed pluripotency, followed by differentiation into lineage-primed TFAP2A+ progenitors. Applying the germline trajectory to TFAP2C mutants reveals that TFAP2C functions in the TFAP2A+ progenitors upstream of PRDM1 to regulate the expression of SOX17. This serves to protect hPGCLCs from crossing the Weismann's barrier to adopt somatic cell fates and, therefore, is an essential mechanism for successfully initiating in vitro gametogenesis.
Project description:The interconversion between naive and primed pluripotent states is accompanied by drastic epigenetic rearrangements. However, it is unclear whether intrinsic epigenetic events can drive reprogramming to naive pluripotency or if distinct chromatin states are instead simply a reflection of discrete pluripotent states. Here, we show that blocking histone H3K4 methyltransferase MLL1 activity with the small-molecule inhibitor MM-401 reprograms mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) to naive pluripotency. This reversion is highly efficient and synchronized, with more than 50% of treated EpiSCs exhibiting features of naive embryonic stem cells (ESCs) within 3 days. Reverted ESCs reactivate the silenced X chromosome and contribute to embryos following blastocyst injection, generating germline-competent chimeras. Importantly, blocking MLL1 leads to global redistribution of H3K4me1 at enhancers and represses lineage determinant factors and EpiSC markers, which indirectly regulate ESC transcription circuitry. These findings show that discrete perturbation of H3K4 methylation is sufficient to drive reprogramming to naive pluripotency.
Project description:Following implantation, mouse epiblast cells transit from a naive to a primed state in which they are competent for both somatic and primordial germ cell (PGC) specification. Using mouse embryonic stem cells as an in vitro model to study the transcriptional regulatory principles orchestrating peri-implantation development, here we show that the transcription factor Foxd3 is necessary for exit from naive pluripotency and progression to a primed pluripotent state. During this transition, Foxd3 acts as a repressor that dismantles a significant fraction of the naive pluripotency expression program through decommissioning of active enhancers associated with key naive pluripotency and early germline genes. Subsequently, Foxd3 needs to be silenced in primed pluripotent cells to allow re-activation of relevant genes required for proper PGC specification. Our findings therefore uncover a cycle of activation and deactivation of Foxd3 required for exit from naive pluripotency and subsequent PGC specification.
Project description:Although the broad and unique differentiation potential of pluripotent stem cells relies on a complex transcriptional network centered around Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog, two well-distinct pluripotent states, called "naive" and "primed", have been described in vitro and markedly differ in their developmental potential, their expression profiles, their signaling requirements, and their reciprocal conversion. Aiming to determine the key features that segregate and coordinate these two states, data-driven optimization of network models is performed to identify relevant parameter regimes and reduce network complexity to its core structure. Decision dynamics of optimized networks is characterized by signal-dependent multistability and strongly asymmetric transitions among naive, primed, and nonpluripotent states. Further model perturbation and reduction approaches reveal that such a dynamical landscape of pluripotency involves a functional partitioning of the regulatory network. Specifically, two overlapping positive feedback modules, Klf4/Esrrb/Nanog and Oct4/Nanog, stabilize the naive or the primed state, respectively. In turn, their incoherent feedforward and negative feedback coupling mediated by the Erk/Gsk3 module is critical for robust segregation and sequential progression between naive and primed states before irreversible exit from pluripotency.
Project description:Green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporters controlled by the regulatory region of OCT4 and NANOG-two master regulators for pluripotency are widely used in studies of pluripotent stem cell establishment and embryo development. Alongside the challenge in establishing bovine pluripotent stem cells, the application of bovine-specific gene reporters has rarely been explored. Using lentivirus-based GFP reporter, we investigated the upstream regulatory regions of bovine OCT4 and NANOG. These reporters show activity in both naïve- and primed-state pluripotency when infected into mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), respectively. Consistent with what is found in humans and mice, the bovine OCT4-distal enhancer (bOCT4-DE) but not the proximal enhancer (bOCT4-PE) region is preferentially activated in naïve-state pluripotency. Furthermore, the bOCT4-DE region is silenced upon conversion of naive-state ESCs into primed-state epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs). Co-infection of mouse fibroblasts with the reprograming factors for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) induction leads to the generation of GFP positive colonies, demonstrating that these GFP reporters can serve as live indicators for induced pluripotent cell establishment. We further proved that the bovine OCT4 distal enhancer is active in bovine blastocysts. We established the lentiviral-based fluorescent reporters controlled by bovine OCT4 and NANOG enhancer sequences. These reporter constructs show activity in naïve- and primed-pluripotent states. These reporters may serve as versatile tools for bovine ESC/iPSC generation and identification, as well as for developmental studies of bovine embryos.
Project description:During mammalian embryogenesis, changes in morphology and gene expression are concurrent with epigenomic reprogramming. Using human embryonic stem cells representing the preimplantation blastocyst (naive) and postimplantation epiblast (primed), our data in 2iL/I/F naive cells demonstrate that a substantial portion of known human enhancers are premarked by H3K4me1, providing an enhanced open chromatin state in naive pluripotency. The 2iL/I/F enhancer repertoire occupies 9% of the genome, three times that of primed cells, and can exist in broad chromatin domains over 50 kb. Enhancer chromatin states are largely poised. Seventy-seven percent of 2iL/I/F enhancers are decommissioned in a stepwise manner as cells become primed. While primed topologically associating domains are largely unaltered upon differentiation, naive 2iL/I/F domains expand across primed boundaries, affecting three-dimensional genome architecture. Differential topologically associating domain edges coincide with 2iL/I/F H3K4me1 enrichment. Our results suggest that naive-derived 2iL/I/F cells have a unique chromatin landscape, which may reflect early embryogenesis.