Untargeted histone profiling during naive conversion uncovers conserved modification markers between mouse and human.
ABSTRACT: Recent progress has enabled the conversion of primed human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to the naive state of pluripotency, resembling the well-characterized naive mouse ESCs (mESCs). However, a thorough histone epigenetic characterization of this conversion process is currently lacking, while its likeness to the mouse model has not been clearly established. Here, we profile the histone epigenome of hESCs during conversion in a time-resolved experimental design, using an untargeted mass spectrometry-based approach. In total, 23 histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) changed significantly over time. H3K27Me3 was the most prominently increasing marker hPTM in naive hESCs. This is in line with previous reports in mouse, prompting us to compare all the shared hPTM fold changes between mouse and human, revealing a set of conserved hPTM markers for the naive state. Principally, we present the first roadmap of the changing human histone epigenome during the conversion of hESCs from the primed to the naive state. This further revealed similarities with mouse, which hint at a conserved mammalian epigenetic signature of the ground state of pluripotency.
Project description:Until recently, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were shown to exist in a state of primed pluripotency, while mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) display a naive or primed pluripotent state. Here we show the rapid conversion of in-house-derived primed hESCs on mouse embryonic feeder layer (MEF) to a naive state within 5-6 days in naive conversion media (NCM-MEF), 6-10 days in naive human stem cell media (NHSM-MEF) and 14-20 days using the reverse-toggle protocol (RT-MEF). We further observe enhanced unbiased lineage-specific differentiation potential of naive hESCs converted in NCM-MEF, however, all naive hESCs fail to differentiate towards functional cell types. RNA-seq analysis reveals a divergent role of PI3K/AKT/mTORC signalling, specifically of the mTORC2 subunit, in the different naive hESCs. Overall, we demonstrate a direct evaluation of several naive culture conditions performed in the same laboratory, thereby contributing to an unbiased, more in-depth understanding of different naive hESCs.
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:Recently, various groups managed to isolate naïve human embryonic stem cell (hESC) state in vitro has come into acceptance. However, a thorough epigenetic characterization of this human ground state, defined as a state without any epigenetic restrictions, and how that compares to mouse is currently lacking. Also, the epigenomic remodeling required to obtain the ground state, and the important transient processes occurring during the remodeling, have remained elusive in human. Here, we address these issues by using an untargeted mass spectrometry-based (MS) approach to profile the histone epigenome in a time-resolved experimental design. Special care was given to defining the naïve hESC state that was reached over 12 passages (P12, 37 days) in feeder-free conditions in this study. We found that conversion is a multi-staged process with a prominent cellular disturbance after stimulation (P3), an increase in cell proliferation between P3 and P6 and a naïve cell state stabilizing between P9 and P12. In total, 20 different histone post-translational modifications (hPTMs) changed significantly over time from primed to naïve hESCs. Most notably, H3K27me3 is the most prominently increasing hPTM in naïve hESCs, in line with what we recently described in mouse. Essentially, we present a first roadmap of the changing human histone epigenome from primed to naïve state and emphasize that the overlap with mouse hints at a conserved Mammalian epigenetic signature of the ground state.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) typically exhibit "primed" pluripotency, analogous to stem cells derived from the mouse post-implantation epiblast. This has led to a search for growth conditions that support self-renewal of hESCs akin to hypomethylated naive epiblast cells in human pre-implantation embryos. We have discovered that reverting primed hESCs to a hypomethylated naive state or deriving a new hESC line under naive conditions results in the establishment of Stage Specific Embryonic Antigen 4 (SSEA4)-negative hESC lines with a transcriptional program resembling the human pre-implantation epiblast. In contrast, we discovered that the methylome of naive hESCs in vitro is distinct from that of the human epiblast in vivo with loss of DNA methylation at primary imprints and a lost "memory" of the methylation state of the human oocyte. This failure to recover the naive epiblast methylation landscape appears to be a consistent feature of self-renewing hypomethylated naive hESCs in vitro.
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 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: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: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: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: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.