Multi-omic Profiling Reveals Dynamics of the Phased Progression of Pluripotency.
ABSTRACT: Pluripotency is highly dynamic and progresses through a continuum of pluripotent stem cell states. The two states that bookend the pluripotency continuum, naive and primed, are well characterized, but our understanding of the intermediate states and transitions between them remains incomplete. Here, we dissect the dynamics of pluripotent state transitions underlying pre- to post-implantation epiblast differentiation. Through comprehensive mapping of the proteome, phosphoproteome, transcriptome, and epigenome of embryonic stem cells transitioning from naive to primed pluripotency, we find that rapid, acute, and widespread changes to the phosphoproteome precede ordered changes to the epigenome, transcriptome, and proteome. Reconstruction of the kinase-substrate networks reveals signaling cascades, dynamics, and crosstalk. Distinct waves of global proteomic changes mark discrete phases of pluripotency, with cell-state-specific surface markers tracking pluripotent state transitions. Our data provide new insights into multi-layered control of the phased progression of pluripotency and a foundation for modeling mechanisms regulating pluripotent state transitions (www.stemcellatlas.org).
Project description:Pluripotency is highly dynamic and progresses through a continuum of pluripotent stem-cell states. The two states that bookend the pluripotency continuum, naïve and primed, are well characterized, but our understanding of the intermediate states and transitions between them remain incomplete. Here, we dissect the dynamics of pluripotent state transitions underlying pre- to post-implantation epiblast differentiation. Through comprehensive mapping of the proteome, phosphoproteome, transcriptome, and epigenome of embryonic stem cells transitioning from naïve to primed pluripotency, we find that rapid, acute, and widespread changes to the phosphoproteome precede ordered changes to the epigenome, transcriptome, and proteome. Reconstruction of kinase-substrate networks reveals signaling cascades, dynamics, and crosstalk. Distinct waves of global proteomic changes mark discrete phases of pluripotency, with cell state-specific surface markers tracking pluripotent state transitions. Our data provide new insights into the multi-layered control of the phased progression of pluripotency and a foundation for modeling mechanisms regulating pluripotent state transitions (www.stemcellatlasorg).
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.
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: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:Controlling responsiveness to prevailing signals is critical for robust transitions between cell states during development. For example, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) drives naive pluripotent cells into extraembryonic lineages before implantation but sustains pluripotency in primed cells of the post-implantation epiblast. Nanog supports pluripotency in naive cells, while Nodal supports pluripotency in primed cells, but the handover from Nanog to Nodal does not proceed seamlessly, opening up the risk of aberrant differentiation if FGF is activated before Nodal. Here, we report that Id1 acts as a sensor to detect delays in Nodal activation after the downregulation of Nanog. Id1 then suppresses FGF activity to delay differentiation. Accordingly, Id1 is not required for naive or primed pluripotency but rather stabilizes epiblast identity during the transition between these states. These findings help explain how development proceeds robustly in the face of imprecise signals and highlight the importance of mechanisms that stabilize cell identity during developmental transitions.
Project description:Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can self-renew or differentiate into any cell type, a phenomenon known as pluripotency. Distinct pluripotent states, termed naive and primed pluripotency, have been described. However, the mechanisms that control naive-primed pluripotent transition are poorly understood. Here, we perform a targeted screen for kinase inhibitors, which modulate the naive-primed pluripotent transition. We find that XMD compounds, which selectively inhibit Erk5 kinase and BET bromodomain family proteins, drive ESCs toward primed pluripotency. Using compound selectivity engineering and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, we reveal distinct functions for Erk5 and Brd4 in pluripotency regulation. We show that Erk5 signaling maintains ESCs in the naive state and suppresses progression toward primed pluripotency and neuroectoderm differentiation. Additionally, we identify a specialized role for Erk5 in defining ESC lineage selection, whereby Erk5 inhibits a cardiomyocyte-specific differentiation program. Our data therefore reveal multiple critical functions for Erk5 in controlling ESC identity.
Project description:Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) represent naive and primed pluripotency states, respectively, and are maintained in vitro by specific signalling pathways. Furthermore, ESCs cultured in serum-free medium with two kinase inhibitors (2i-ESCs) are thought to be the ground naïve pluripotent state. Here, we present a comparative study of the epigenetic and transcriptional states of pericentromeric heterochromatin satellite sequences found in these pluripotent states. We show that 2i-ESCs are distinguished from other pluripotent cells by a prominent enrichment in H3K27me3 and low levels of DNA methylation at pericentromeric heterochromatin. In contrast, serum-containing ESCs exhibit higher levels of major satellite repeat transcription, which is lower in 2i-ESCs and even more repressed in primed EpiSCs. Removal of either DNA methylation or H3K9me3 at PCH in 2i-ESCs leads to enhanced deposition of H3K27me3 with few changes in satellite transcript levels. In contrast, their removal in EpiSCs does not lead to deposition of H3K27me3 but rather removes transcriptional repression. Altogether, our data show that the epigenetic state of PCH is modified during transition from naive to primed pluripotency states towards a more repressive state, which tightly represses the transcription of satellite repeats.
Project description:Current challenges in capturing naive human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) suggest that the factors regulating human naive versus primed pluripotency remain incompletely defined. Here we demonstrate that the widely used Essential 8 minimal medium (E8) captures hPSCs at a naive-to-primed intermediate state of pluripotency expressing several naive-like developmental, bioenergetic, and epigenomic features despite providing primed-state-sustaining growth factor conditions. Transcriptionally, E8 hPSCs are marked by activated lipid biosynthesis and suppressed MAPK/TGF-? gene expression, resulting in endogenous ERK inhibition. These features are dependent on lipid-free culture conditions and are lost upon lipid exposure, whereas short-term pharmacological ERK inhibition restores naive-to-primed intermediate traits even in the presence of lipids. Finally, we identify de novo lipogenesis as a common transcriptional signature of E8 hPSCs and the pre-implantation human epiblast in vivo. These findings implicate exogenous lipid availability in regulating human pluripotency and define E8 hPSCs as a stable, naive-to-primed intermediate (NPI) pluripotent state.
Project description:Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can self-renew or differentiate from naive or more differentiated, primed, pluripotent states established by specific culture conditions. Increased intracellular ?-ketoglutarate (?KG) was shown to favor self-renewal in naive mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). The effect of ?KG or ?KG/succinate levels on differentiation from primed human PSCs (hPSCs) or mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) remains unknown. We examined primed hPSCs and EpiSCs and show that increased ?KG or ?KG-to-succinate ratios accelerate, and elevated succinate levels delay, primed PSC differentiation. ?KG has been shown to inhibit the mitochondrial ATP synthase and to regulate epigenome-modifying dioxygenase enzymes. Mitochondrial uncoupling did not impede ?KG-accelerated primed PSC differentiation. Instead, ?KG induced, and succinate impaired, global histone and DNA demethylation in primed PSCs. The data support ?KG promotion of self-renewal or differentiation depending on the pluripotent state.
Project description:Naive hypomethylated embryonic pluripotent stem cells (ESCs) are developmentally closest to the preimplantation epiblast of blastocysts, with the potential to contribute to all embryonic tissues and the germline, excepting the extra-embryonic tissues in chimeric embryos. By contrast, epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) resembling postimplantation epiblast are relatively more methylated and show a limited potential for chimerism. Here, for the first time, we reveal advanced pluripotent stem cells (ASCs), which are developmentally beyond the pluripotent cells in the inner cell mass but with higher potency than EpiSCs. Accordingly, a single ASC contributes very efficiently to the fetus, germline, yolk sac and the placental labyrinth in chimeras. Since they are developmentally more advanced, ASCs do not contribute to the trophoblast. ASCs were derived from blastocysts in two steps in a chemically defined medium supplemented with Activin A and basic fibroblast growth factor, followed by culturing in ABCL medium containing ActA, BMP4, CHIR99021 and leukemia inhibitory factor. Notably, ASCs exhibit a distinct transcriptome with the expression of both naive pluripotency genes, as well as mesodermal somatic genes; Eomes, Eras, Tdgf1, Evx1, hand1, Wnt5a and distinct repetitive elements. Conversion of established ESCs to ASCs is also achievable. Importantly, ASCs exhibit a stable hypermethylated epigenome and mostly intact imprints as compared to the hypomethylated inner cell mass of blastocysts and naive ESCs. Properties of ASCs suggest that they represent cells at an intermediate cellular state between the naive and primed states of pluripotency.