Influenza a virus-triggered autophagy decreases the pluripotency of human-induced pluripotent stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Maternal influenza infection during pregnancy was reported multiple times as the possible cause of many defects and congenital anomalies. Apart from several cases of influenza-related miscarriage during various trimesters of pregnancy, some epidemiological data suggest a link between maternal influenza infection and genetic abnormalities in offspring. However, there are no reports yet describing how maternal influenza alters cellular pathways at early stages of development to result in congenital defects in the fetus. In the present study, using proteomic approaches, we utilized human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) for modeling intrablastocyst infection with influenza virus to not only investigate the vulnerability and responses of pluripotent stem cells to this virus but also to determine the possible impacts of influenza on pluripotency and signaling pathways controlling differentiation and embryogenesis. Our data indicated viral protein production in influenza A virus (IAV)-infected hiPSCs. However, viral replication was restricted in these cells, but cell viability and pluripotency were negatively affected. These events occurred simultaneously with an excessive level of IAV-induced autophagy as well as cytopathic effects. Quantitative SOMAscan screening also indicated that changes in the proteome of hiPSCs corresponded to abnormal differentiation in these cells. Taken together, our results showed that IAV-modulated reduction in hiPSC pluripotency is associated with significant activation of autophagy. Further investigations are required to explore the role of IAV-induced autophagy in leading pluripotent stem cells toward abnormal differentiation and impaired development in early stages of embryogenesis.
Project description:Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) derived from blastocyst and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generated from somatic cells by ectopic expression of defined transcriptional factors, have both the ability to self-renew and to differentiate into all cell types. Here we explored the two antagonistic effects of retinoic acid (RA) on hiPSCs. Although RA has been widely described as a pharmacological agent with a critical role in initiating differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, we demonstrate that short-term RA exposure not only antagonizes cell differentiation and sustains pluripotency of hiPSCs, but it also boosts and improves their properties and characteristics. To shed light on the mechanistic insights involved in the resistance to differentiation of hiPSCs cultured in RA conditions, as well as their improved pluripotency state, we focused our attention on the Wnt pathway. Our findings show that RA inhibits the Wnt canonical pathway and positively modulates the Akt/mTOR signaling, explaining why such perturbations, under our experimental conditions, do not lead to hiPSCs differentiation. Altogether, these data uncover a novel role for RA in favouring the maintenance of ground-state pluripotency, supporting its bivalent role, dose- and time-dependent, for hiPSCs differentiation and self-renewal processes.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells present an extraordinary powerful tool to investigate embryonic development in humans. Essentially, they provide a unique platform for dissecting the distinct mechanisms underlying pluripotency and subsequent lineage commitment. Modest information currently exists about the expression and the role of ion channels during human embryogenesis, organ development, and cell fate determination. Of note, small and intermediate conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels have been reported to modify stem cell behaviour and differentiation. These channels are broadly expressed throughout human tissues and are involved in various cellular processes, such as the after-hyperpolarization in excitable cells, and also in differentiation processes. To this end, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generated from plucked human hair keratinocytes have been exploited in vitro to recapitulate endoderm formation and, concomitantly, used to map the expression of the SK channel (SKCa) subtypes over time. Thus, we report the successful generation of definitive endoderm from hiPSCs of ectodermal origin using a highly reproducible and robust differentiation system. Furthermore, we provide the first evidence that SKCas subtypes are dynamically regulated in the transition from a pluripotent stem cell to a more lineage restricted, endodermal progeny.
Project description:Centrioles account for centrosomes and cilia formation. Recently, a link between centrosomal components and human developmental disorders has been established. However, the exact mechanisms how centrosome abnormalities influence embryogenesis and cell fate are not understood. PLK4-STIL module represents a key element of centrosome duplication cycle. We analyzed consequences of inactivation of the module for early events of embryogenesis in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We demonstrate that blocking of PLK4 or STIL functions leads to centrosome loss followed by both p53-dependent and -independent defects, including prolonged cell divisions, upregulation of p53, chromosome instability, and, importantly, reduction of pluripotency markers and induction of differentiation. We show that the observed loss of key stem cells properties is connected to alterations in mitotic timing and protein turnover. In sum, our data define a link between centrosome, its regulators, and the control of pluripotency and differentiation in PSCs.
Project description:Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) constitute an important breakthrough in regenerative medicine, particularly in orthopedics, where more effective treatments are urgently needed. Despite the promise of hiPSCs only limited data on in vitro chondrogenic differentiation of hiPSCs are available. Therefore, we compared the gene expression profile of pluripotent genes in hiPSC-derived chondrocytes (ChiPS) to that of an hiPSC cell line created by our group (GPCCi001-A). The results are shown on heatmaps and plots and confirmed by Reverse Transcription Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis. Unlike the ChiPS, our GPCCi001-A cells maintained their pluripotency state during long-term culture, thus demonstrating that this cell line was comprised of stable, fully pluripotent hiPSCs. Moreover, these chondrocyte-like cells not only presented features that are characteristic of chondrocytes, but they also lost their pluripotency, which is an important advantage in favor of using this cell line in future clinical studies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) open new windows for basic research and regenerative medicine due to their remarkable properties, i.e. their ability to self-renew indefinitely and being pluripotent. There are different, conflicting data related to the role of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in intracellular signal transduction and the regulation of pluripotency of PSCs. Here, we investigated the effect of bFGF and its downstream pathways in pluripotent vs. differentiated human induced (hi) PSCs.<h4>Methods</h4>bFGF downstream signaling pathways were investigated in long-term culture of hiPSCs from pluripotent to differentiated state (withdrawing bFGF) using immunoblotting, immunocytochemistry and qPCR. Subcellular distribution of signaling components were investigated by simple fractionation and immunoblotting upon bFGF stimulation. Finally, RAS activity and RAS isoforms were studied using RAS assays both after short- and long-term culture in response to bFGF stimulation.<h4>Results</h4>Our results revealed that hiPSCs were differentiated into the ectoderm lineage upon withdrawing bFGF as an essential pluripotency mediator. Pluripotency markers OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG were downregulated, following a drastic decrease in MAPK pathway activity levels. Notably, a remarkable increase in phosphorylation levels of p38 and JAK/STAT3 was observed in differentiated hiPSCs, while the PI3K/AKT and JNK pathways remained active during differentiation. Our data further indicate that among the RAS paralogs, NRAS predominantly activates the MAPK pathway in hiPSCs.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Collectively, the MAPK pathway appears to be the prime signaling pathway downstream of bFGF for maintaining pluripotency in hiPSCs and among the MAPK pathways, the activity of NRAS-RAF-MEK-ERK is decreased during differentiation, whereas p38 is activated and JNK remains constant.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>The derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) from patient-specific sources has allowed for the development of novel approaches to studies of human development and disease. However, traditional methods of generating hiPSCs involve the risks of genomic integration and potential constitutive expression of pluripotency factors and often exhibit low reprogramming efficiencies. The recent description of cellular reprogramming using synthetic mRNA molecules might eliminate these shortcomings; however, the ability of mRNA-reprogrammed hiPSCs to effectively give rise to retinal cell lineages has yet to be demonstrated. Thus, efforts were undertaken to test the ability and efficiency of mRNA-reprogrammed hiPSCs to yield retinal cell types in a directed, stepwise manner. hiPSCs were generated from human fibroblasts via mRNA reprogramming, with parallel cultures of isogenic human fibroblasts reprogrammed via retroviral delivery of reprogramming factors. New lines of mRNA-reprogrammed hiPSCs were established and were subsequently differentiated into a retinal fate using established protocols in a directed, stepwise fashion. The efficiency of retinal differentiation from these lines was compared with retroviral-derived cell lines at various stages of development. On differentiation, mRNA-reprogrammed hiPSCs were capable of robust differentiation to a retinal fate, including the derivation of photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells, at efficiencies often equal to or greater than their retroviral-derived hiPSC counterparts. Thus, given that hiPSCs derived through mRNA-based reprogramming strategies offer numerous advantages owing to the lack of genomic integration or constitutive expression of pluripotency genes, such methods likely represent a promising new approach for retinal stem cell research, in particular, those for translational applications.<h4>Significance</h4>In the current report, the ability to derive mRNA-reprogrammed human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), followed by the differentiation of these cells toward a retinal lineage, including photoreceptors, retinal ganglion cells, and retinal pigment epithelium, has been demonstrated. The use of mRNA reprogramming to yield pluripotency represents a unique ability to derive pluripotent stem cells without the use of DNA vectors, ensuring the lack of genomic integration and constitutive expression. The studies reported in the present article serve to establish a more reproducible system with which to derive retinal cell types from hiPSCs through the prevention of genomic integration of delivered genes and should also eliminate the risk of constitutive expression of these genes. Such ability has important implications for the study of, and development of potential treatments for, retinal degenerative disorders and the development of novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of these diseases.
Project description:Telomerase plays an important role in governing the life span of cells for its capacity to extend telomeres. As high activity of telomerase has been found in stem cells and cancer cells specifically, various methods have been developed for the evaluation of telomerase activity. To overcome the time-consuming procedures and complicated manipulations of existing methods, we developed a novel method named Telomeric Repeat Elongation Assay based on Quartz crystal microbalance (TREAQ) to monitor telomerase activity during the self-renewal and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). TREAQ results indicated hiPSCs possess invariable telomerase activity for 11 passages on Matrigel and a steady decline of telomerase activity when differentiated for different periods, which is confirmed with existing golden standard method. The pluripotency of hiPSCs during differentiation could be estimated through monitoring telomerase activity and compared with the expression levels of markers of pluripotency gene via quantitative real time PCR. Regular assessment for factors associated with pluripotency or stemness was expensive and requires excessive sample consuming, thus TREAQ could be a promising alternative technology for routine monitoring of telomerase activity and estimate the pluripotency of stem cells.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are defined as pluripotent in view of their self-renewal ability and potential to differentiate to cells of all three germ layers. Recent studies have indicated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the maintenance of pluripotency and cell cycle regulation. We used a microarray based approach to identify miRNAs that were enriched in hESCs when compared to differentiated cells and at the same time showed significant expression changes between different phases of cell cycle. We identified 34 candidate miRNAs and performed functional studies on one of these, miR-1305, which showed the highest expression change during cell cycle transition. Overexpression of miR-1305 induced differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, increased cell apoptosis and sped up G1/S transition, while its downregulation facilitated the maintenance of pluripotency and increased cell survival. Using target prediction software and luciferase based reporter assays we identified POLR3G as a downstream target by which miR-1305 regulates the fine balance between maintenance of pluripotency and onset of differentiation. Overexpression of POLR3G rescued pluripotent stem cell differentiation induced by miR-1305 overexpression. In contrast, knock-down of POLR3G expression abolished the miR-1305-knockdown mediated enhancement of pluripotency, thus validating its role as miR-1305 target in human pluripotent stem cells. Together our data point to an important role for miR-1305 as a novel regulator of pluripotency, cell survival and cell cycle and uncovers new mechanisms and networks by which these processes are intertwined in human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cells 2016;34:2306-2317.
Project description:Pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are known to possess a relatively open chromatin structure; yet, despite efforts to characterize the chromatin signatures of ESCs, the role of chromatin compaction in stem cell fate and function remains elusive. Linker histone H1 is important for higher-order chromatin folding and is essential for mammalian embryogenesis. To investigate the role of H1 and chromatin compaction in stem cell pluripotency and differentiation, we examine the differentiation of embryonic stem cells that are depleted of multiple H1 subtypes. H1c/H1d/H1e triple null ESCs are more resistant to spontaneous differentiation in adherent monolayer culture upon removal of leukemia inhibitory factor. Similarly, the majority of the triple-H1 null embryoid bodies (EBs) lack morphological structures representing the three germ layers and retain gene expression signatures characteristic of undifferentiated ESCs. Furthermore, upon neural differentiation of EBs, triple-H1 null cell cultures are deficient in neurite outgrowth and lack efficient activation of neural markers. Finally, we discover that triple-H1 null embryos and EBs fail to fully repress the expression of the pluripotency genes in comparison with wild-type controls and that H1 depletion impairs DNA methylation and changes of histone marks at promoter regions necessary for efficiently silencing pluripotency gene Oct4 during stem cell differentiation and embryogenesis. In summary, we demonstrate that H1 plays a critical role in pluripotent stem cell differentiation, and our results suggest that H1 and chromatin compaction may mediate pluripotent stem cell differentiation through epigenetic repression of the pluripotency genes.
Project description:13-cis-retinoic acid (isotretinoin, INN) is an oral pharmaceutical drug used for the treatment of skin acne, and is also a known teratogen. In this study, the molecular mechanisms underlying INN-induced developmental toxicity during early cardiac differentiation were investigated using both human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Pre-exposure of hiPSCs and hESCs to a sublethal concentration of INN did not influence cell proliferation and pluripotency. However, mesodermal differentiation was disrupted when INN was included in the medium during differentiation. Transcriptomic profiling by RNA-seq revealed that INN exposure leads to aberrant expression of genes involved in several signaling pathways that control early mesoderm differentiation, such as TGF-beta signaling. In addition, genome-wide chromatin accessibility profiling by ATAC-seq suggested that INN-exposure leads to enhanced DNA-binding of specific transcription factors (TFs), including HNF1B, SOX10 and NFIC, often in close spatial proximity to genes that are dysregulated in response to INN treatment. Altogether, these results identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying INN-induced perturbation during mesodermal differentiation in the context of cardiac development. This study further highlights the utility of human stem cells as an alternative system for investigating congenital diseases of newborns that arise as a result of maternal drug exposure during pregnancy.