Combinatorial knockout of RAR?, RAR?, and RAR? completely abrogates transcriptional responses to retinoic acid in murine embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: All-trans-retinoic acid (RA), a potent inducer of cellular differentiation, functions as a ligand for retinoic acid receptors (RAR?, ?, and ?). RARs are activated by ligand binding, which induces transcription of direct genomic targets. However, whether embryonic stem cells respond to RA through routes that do not involve RARs is unknown. Here, we used CRISPR technology to introduce biallelic frameshift mutations in RAR?, RAR?, and RAR?, thereby abrogating all RAR functions in murine embryonic stem cells. We then evaluated RA-responsiveness of the RAR-null cells using RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis. We found that the RAR-null cells display no changes in transcripts in response to RA, demonstrating that the RARs are essential for the regulation of all transcripts in murine embryonic stem cells in response to RA. Our key finding, that in embryonic stem cells the transcriptional effects of RA all depend on RARs, addresses a long-standing topic of discussion in the field of retinoic acid signaling.
Project description:All-trans retinoic acid (RA) signals via binding to retinoic acid receptors (RARs ?, ?, and ?). RA directly influences expression of Pdx1, a transcription factor essential for pancreatic development and beta-cell (?-cell) maturation. In this study we follow the differentiation of cultured wild-type (WT) vs. RAR? knockout (KO) embryonic stem (ES) cells into pancreatic islet cells. We found that RAR? KO ES cells show greatly reduced expression of some important endocrine markers of differentiated islet cells, such as glucagon, islet amyloid polypeptide (Iapp), and insulin 1 (Ins1) relative to WT. We conclude that RAR? activity is essential for proper differentiation of ES cells to pancreatic endocrine cells.
Project description:The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical to central nervous system (CNS) health. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs) are often used as in vitro BBB models for studying BBB dysfunction and therapeutic screening applications. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can be differentiated to cells having key BMEC barrier and transporter properties, offering a renewable, scalable source of human BMECs. hPSC-derived BMECs have previously been shown to respond to all-trans retinoic acid (RA), and the goal of this study was to identify the stages at which differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) respond to activation of RA receptors (RARs) to impart BBB phenotypes. Here the authors identified that RA application to iPSC-derived BMECs at days 6-8 of differentiation led to a substantial elevation in transendothelial electrical resistance and induction of VE-cadherin expression. Specific RAR agonists identified RAR?, RAR?, and RXR? as receptors capable of inducing barrier phenotypes. Moreover, RAR/RXR? costimulation elevated VE-cadherin expression and improved barrier fidelity to levels that recapitulated the effects of RA. This study elucidates the roles of RA signaling in iPSC-derived BMEC differentiation, and identifies directed agonist approaches that can improve BMEC fidelity for drug screening studies while also distinguishing potential nuclear receptor targets to explore in BBB dysfunction and therapy.
Project description:We have utilized retinoic acid receptor ? (gamma) knockout (RAR?(-/-)) embryonic stem (ES) cells as a model system to analyze RAR? mediated transcriptional regulation of stem cell differentiation. Most of the transcripts regulated by all-trans retinoic acid (RA) in ES cells are dependent upon functional RAR? signaling. Notably, many of these RA-RAR? target genes are implicated in retinoid uptake and metabolism. For instance, Lrat (lecithin:retinol acyltransferase), Stra6 (stimulated by retinoic acid 6), Crabp2 (cellular retinoic acid binding protein 2), and Cyp26a1 (cytochrome p450 26a1) transcripts are induced in wild type (WT), but not in RAR?(-/-) cells. Transcripts for the transcription factors Pbx1 (pre-B cell leukemia homeobox-1), Wt1 (Wilm's tumor gene-1), and Meis1 (myeloid ecotropic viral integration site-1) increase upon RA treatment of WT, but not RAR?(-/-) cells. In contrast, Stra8, Dleu7, Leftb, Pitx2, and Cdx1 mRNAs are induced by RA even in the absence of RAR?. Mapping of the epigenetic signature of Meis1 revealed that RA induces a rapid increase in the H3K9/K14ac epigenetic mark at the proximal promoter and at two sites downstream of the transcription start site in WT, but not in RAR?(-/-) cells. Thus, RA-associated increases in H3K9/K14ac epigenetic marks require RAR? and are associated with increased Meis1 transcript levels, whereas H3K4me3 is present at the Meis1 proximal promoter even in the absence of RAR?. In contrast, at the Lrat proximal promoter primarily the H3K4me3 mark, and not the H3K9/K14ac mark, increases in response to RA, independently of the presence of RAR?. Our data show major epigenetic changes associated with addition of the RAR? agonist RA in ES cells.
Project description:In mouse embryonic cells, ligand-activated retinoic acid receptors (RARs) play a key role in inhibiting pluripotency-maintaining genes and activating some major actors of cell differentiation. To investigate the mechanism underlying this dual regulation, we performed joint RAR/RXR ChIP-seq and mRNA-seq time series during the first 48 h of the RA-induced Primitive Endoderm (PrE) differentiation process in F9 embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells. We show here that this dual regulation is associated with RAR/RXR genomic redistribution during the differentiation process. In-depth analysis of RAR/RXR binding sites occupancy dynamics and composition show that in undifferentiated cells, RAR/RXR interact with genomic regions characterized by binding of pluripotency-associated factors and high prevalence of the non-canonical DR0-containing RA response element. By contrast, in differentiated cells, RAR/RXR bound regions are enriched in functional Sox17 binding sites and are characterized with a higher frequency of the canonical DR5 motif. Our data offer an unprecedentedly detailed view on the action of RA in triggering pluripotent cell differentiation and demonstrate that RAR/RXR action is mediated via two different sets of regulatory regions tightly associated with cell differentiation status.
Project description:Retinoic acid receptors (RARs) ?, ?, and ? are members of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Compounds which bind to and activate the RARs are termed retinoids which regulate a wide variety of biological processes such as vertebrate embryonic morphogenesis and organogenesis, cell growth arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis, as well as their disorders. Although many synthetic selective RAR?, RAR?, and RAR? agonists have been designed and prepared, these have generally been lipophilic acids without good drug-like properties and with low oral bioavailability. Recently this has been changing and drug design approaches to highly potent and selective RAR? and RAR? agonists with low lipophilicity that are orally bioavailable and less toxic have been developed, that have a range of potential therapeutic uses. This review covers these new advances.
Project description:Retinoic acid (RA) displays potent anticarcinogenic activities that are mediated by the nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RARs). However, use of RA in oncology is limited by RA resistance acquired during carcinogenesis. Moreover, in some cancers, RA facilitates rather than inhibits growth. A clue to this paradoxical behavior was recently suggested by the findings that RA also activates PPARbeta/delta, a receptor involved in mitogenic and anti-apoptotic activities. The observations that partitioning of RA between its two receptors is regulated by two intracellular lipid-binding proteins-CRABP-II, which targets RA to RAR, and FABP5, which delivers it to PPARbeta/delta-further suggest that RA resistance may stem from the deregulation of the binding proteins, resulting in activation of PPARbeta/delta rather than RAR. Here, we show that, in the RA-resistant mouse model of breast cancer MMTV-neu, RA indeed activates the nonclassical RA receptor PPARbeta/delta. This behavior was traced to an aberrantly high intratumor FABP5/CRABP-II ratio. Decreasing this ratio in mammary tissue diverted RA from PPARbeta/delta to RAR and suppressed tumor growth. The data demonstrate the existence of a mechanism that underlies RA resistance in tumors, indicate that CRABP-II functions as a tumor suppressor, and suggest that the inhibition of FABP5 may comprise a therapeutic strategy for overcoming RA resistance in some tumors.
Project description:The diverse biological actions of retinoic acid (RA) are mediated by RA receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). While the coregulatory proteins that interact with the ligand-dependent AF-2 in the E region are well studied, the ligand-independent N-terminal AF-1 domain-interacting partners and their influence(s) on the function of RARs are poorly understood. HECT domain and Ankyrin repeat containing E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase (HACE1) was isolated as a RARbeta(3) AB region interacting protein. HACE1 interacts with RARbeta(3) both in in vitro GST pull-down and in cell-based coprecipitation assays. The interaction sites map to the N terminus of RARbeta(3) and the C terminus of HACE1. HACE1 functionally represses the transcriptional activity of RARalpha(1), RARbeta isoforms 1, 2, and 3, but not RARgamma(1) in luciferase reporter assays. In addition, HACE1 represses the endogenous RAR-regulated genes CRABP II, RIG1 and RARbeta(2), but not RAI3 in CAOV3 cells. Mutation of the putative catalytic cysteine (C876 of LF HACE1), which is indispensable for its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, does not alter the repressive effect of HACE1 on the transcriptional activity of RARbeta(3). On the other hand, HACE1 inhibits the RA dependent degradation of RARbeta(3). It is possible that the repression of RAR-regulated transcription by HACE1 is due to its ability to inhibit the RA-dependent degradation of RARs.
Project description:The diverse biological actions of retinoic acid (RA) are mediated by RA receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Modulation of transcription by RARs/RXRs is achieved through two activation functions, ligand-independent AF-1 and ligand-dependent AF-2, located in the A/B and E domains, respectively. While the coregulatory proteins that interact with the E domain are well studied, the A/B domain-interacting partners and their influence(s) on the function of RARs are poorly understood. Acinus-S' is an ubiquitous nuclear protein that has been implicated in inducing apoptotic chromatin condensation and regulating mRNA processing. Our data demonstrate that Acinus-S' can specifically repress ligand-independent and ligand-dependent expression of a DR5 RA response element(RARE)-dependent reporter gene and several endogenous RAR-regulated genes in a dose-dependent and gene-specific manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that Acinus-S' associates with RAREs within the promoters of endogenous genes independent of RA treatment. Furthermore, the C-terminal end of Acinus-S' and the B domain of RARbeta interact independently of ligand, and the C-terminal end of Acinus-S' is sufficient for the repression of RAR-regulated gene expression. Finally, histone deacetylase activity only partially accounts for the repressive effect of Acinus-S' on RAR-dependent gene expression. These findings identify Acinus-S' as a novel RAR-interacting protein that regulates the expression of a subset of RAR-regulated genes through direct binding to the N-terminal B domains of RARs.
Project description:All-trans retinoic acid (RA) induces transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-dependent autocrine growth of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). We have used chromatin immunoprecipitation to map 354 RA receptor (RAR) binding loci in MEFs, most of which were similarly occupied by the RAR alpha and RAR gamma receptors. Only a subset of the genes associated with these loci are regulated by RA, among which are several critical components of the TGF-beta pathway. We also show RAR binding to a novel series of target genes involved in cell cycle regulation, transformation, and metastasis, suggesting new pathways by which RA may regulate proliferation and cancer. Few of the RAR binding loci contained consensus direct-repeat (DR)-type elements. The majority comprised either degenerate DRs or no identifiable DRs but anomalously spaced half sites. Furthermore, we identify 462 RAR target loci in embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that their occupancy is cell type specific. Our results also show that differences in the chromatin landscape regulate the accessibility of a subset of more than 700 identified loci to RARs, thus modulating the repertoire of target genes that can be regulated and the biological effects of RA.
Project description:Langerhans cells (LC) are the prototype langerin-expressing dendritic cells (DC) that reside specifically in the epidermis, but langerin-expressing conventional DCs also reside in the dermis and other tissues, yet the factors that regulate their development are unclear. Because retinoic acid receptor alpha (RAR?) is highly expressed by LCs, we investigate the functions of RAR? and retinoic acid (RA) in regulating the langerin-expressing DCs. Here we show that the development of LCs from embryonic and bone marrow-derived progenitors and langerin+ conventional DCs is profoundly regulated by the RAR?-RA axis. During LC differentiation, RAR? is required for the expression of a LC-promoting transcription factor Runx3, but suppresses that of LC-inhibiting C/EBP?. RAR? promotes the development of LCs and langerin+ conventional DCs only in hypo-RA conditions, a function effectively suppressed at systemic RA levels. Our findings identify positive and negative regulatory mechanisms to tightly regulate the development of the specialized DC populations.