TATA box-binding protein-related factor 3 drives the mesendoderm specification of human embryonic stem cells by globally interacting with the TATA box of key mesendodermal genes.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Mesendodermal formation during early gastrulation requires the expression of lineage-specific genes, while the regulatory mechanisms during this process have not yet been fully illustrated. TATA box-binding protein (TBP) and TBP-like factors are general transcription factors responsible for the transcription initiation by recruiting the preinitiation complex to promoter regions. However, the role of TBP family members in the regulation of mesendodermal specification remains largely unknown. METHODS:We used an in vitro mesendodermal differentiation system of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), combining with the microarray and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis, loss of function and gain of function to determine the function of the TBP family member TBP-related factor 3 (TRF3) during mesendodermal differentiation of hESCs. The chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and biochemistry analysis were used to determine the binding of TRF3 to the promoter region of key mesendodermal genes. RESULTS:The mesendodermal differentiation of hESCs was confirmed by the microarray gene expression profile, qRT-PCR, and immunocytochemical staining. The expression of TRF3 mRNA was enhanced during mesendodermal differentiation of hESCs. The TRF3 deficiency did not affect the pluripotent marker expression, alkaline phosphatase activity, and cell cycle distribution of undifferentiated hESCs or the expression of early neuroectodermal genes during neuroectodermal differentiation. During the mesendodermal differentiation, the expression of pluripotency markers decreased in both wild-type and TRF3 knockout (TRF3-/-) cells, while the TRF3 deficiency crippled the expression of the mesendodermal markers. The reintroduction of TRF3 into the TRF3-/- hESCs rescued inhibited mesendodermal differentiation. Mechanistically, the TRF3 binding profile was significantly shifted to the mesendodermal specification during mesendodermal differentiation of hESCs based on the ChIP-seq data. Moreover, ChIP and ChIP-qPCR analysis showed that TRF3 was enriched at core promoter regions of mesendodermal developmental genes, EOMESODERMIN, BRACHYURY, mix paired-like homeobox, and GOOSECOID homeobox, during mesendodermal differentiation of hESCs. CONCLUSIONS:These results reveal that the TBP family member TRF3 is dispensable in the undifferentiated hESCs and the early neuroectodermal differentiation. However, it directs mesendodermal lineage commitment of hESCs via specifically promoting the transcription of key mesendodermal transcription factors. These findings provide new insights into the function and mechanisms of the TBP family member in hESC early lineage specification.
Project description:TATA-box-binding protein (TBP)-related factor 3, TRF3 (also called TBP2), is a vertebrate-specific member of the TBP family that has a conserved carboxy-terminal region and DNA-binding domain virtually identical to that of TBP (ref. 1). TRF3 is highly expressed during embryonic development, and studies in zebrafish and Xenopus have shown that it is required for normal embryogenesis. Here we show that zebrafish embryos depleted of Trf3 exhibit multiple developmental defects and, in particular, fail to undergo haematopoiesis. Expression profiling for Trf3-dependent genes identified mespa, which encodes a transcription factor whose murine orthologue is required for mesoderm specification, and chromatin immunoprecipitation verified that Trf3 binds to the mespa promoter. Depletion of Mespa resulted in developmental and haematopoietic defects markedly similar to those induced by Trf3 depletion. Injection of mespa messenger RNA (mRNA) restored normal development to a Trf3-depleted embryo, indicating mespa is the single Trf3 target gene required for zebrafish embryogenesis. Zebrafish embryos depleted of Trf3 or Mespa also failed to express cdx4, a caudal-related gene required for haematopoiesis. Mespa binds to the cdx4 promoter, and epistasis analysis revealed an ordered trf3-mespa-cdx4 pathway. Thus, in zebrafish, commitment of mesoderm to the haematopoietic lineage occurs through a transcription factor pathway initiated by a TBP-related factor.
Project description:TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) is a highly conserved RNA polymerase II general transcription factor that binds to the core promoter and initiates assembly of the preinitiation complex. Two proteins with high homology to TBP have been found: TBP-related factor 1 (TRF1), described only in Drosophila melanogaster, and TRF2, which is broadly distributed in metazoans. Here, we report the identification and characterization of an additional TBP-related factor, TRF3. TRF3 is virtually identical to TBP in the C-terminal core domain, including all residues involved in DNA binding and interaction with other general transcription factors. Like other TBP family members, the N-terminal region of TRF3 is divergent. The TRF3 gene is present and expressed in vertebrates, from fish through humans, but absent from the genomes of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis and the lower eukaryotes D. melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. TRF3 is a nuclear protein that is present in all human and mouse tissues and cell lines examined. Despite the highly homologous TBP-like C-terminal core domain, gel filtration analysis indicates that the native molecular weight of TRF3 is substantially less than that of TFIID. Interestingly, after mitosis, reimport of TRF3 into the nucleus occurs subsequent to TBP and other basal transcription factors. In summary, TRF3 is a highly conserved vertebrate-specific TRF whose phylogenetic conservation, expression pattern, and other properties are distinct from those of TBP and all other TRFs.
Project description:The transcription factor BTB and CNC homology 1 (Bach1) is expressed in the embryos of mice, but whether Bach1 regulates the self-renewal and early differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is unknown. We report that the deubiquitinase ubiquitin-specific processing protease 7 (Usp7) is a direct target of Bach1, that Bach1 interacts with Nanog, Sox2, and Oct4, and that Bach1 facilitates their deubiquitination and stabilization via the recruitment of Usp7, thereby maintaining stem cell identity and self-renewal. Bach1 also interacts with polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and represses mesendodermal gene expression by recruiting PRC2 to the genes' promoters. The loss of Bach1 in hESCs promotes differentiation toward the mesendodermal germ layers by reducing the occupancy of EZH2 and H3K27me3 in mesendodermal gene promoters and by activating the Wnt/?-catenin and Nodal/Smad2/3 signaling pathways. Our study shows that Bach1 is a key determinant of pluripotency, self-renewal, and lineage specification in hESCs.
Project description:Specifying the primitive streak (PS) guides stem cell differentiation in vitro; however, much remains to be learned about the transcription networks that direct anterior and posterior PS cells (APS and PPS, respectively) to differentiate to distinct mesendodermal subpopulations. Here, we show that APS genes are predominantly induced in YAP1-/- human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in response to ACTIVIN. This finding establishes the Hippo effector YAP1 as a master regulator of PS specification, functioning to repress ACTIVIN-regulated APS genes in hESCs. Moreover, transient exposure of wild-type hESCs to dasatinib, a potent C-SRC/YAP1 inhibitor, enables differentiation to APS-derived endoderm and cardiac mesoderm in response to ACTIVIN. Importantly, these cells can differentiate efficiently to normal beating cardiomyocytes without the cytoskeletal defect seen in YAP1-/- hESC-derived cardiomyocytes. Overall, we uncovered an induction mechanism to generate APS cells using a cocktail of ACTIVIN and YAP1i molecules that holds practical implications for hESC and induced pluripotent stem cell differentiation into distinct mesendodermal lineages.
Project description:Enhancers and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are key determinants of lineage specification during development. Here, we evaluate remodeling of the enhancer landscape and modulation of the lncRNA transcriptome during mesendoderm specification. We sort mesendodermal progenitors from differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) according to Eomes expression, and find that enhancer usage is coordinated with mesendoderm-specific expression of key lineage-determining transcription factors. Many of these enhancers are associated with the expression of lncRNAs. Examination of ESC-specific enhancers interacting in three-dimensional space with mesendoderm-specifying transcription factor loci identifies MesEndoderm Transcriptional Enhancer Organizing Region (Meteor). Genetic and epigenetic manipulation of the Meteor enhancer reveal its indispensable role during mesendoderm specification and subsequent cardiogenic differentiation via transcription-independent and -dependent mechanisms. Interestingly, Meteor-deleted ESCs are epigenetically redirected towards neuroectodermal lineages. Loci, topologically associating a transcribed enhancer and its cognate protein coding gene, appear to represent therefore a class of genomic elements controlling developmental competence in pluripotency.
Project description:SOX2 and OCT4 are pioneer transcription factors playing a key role in embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal and differentiation. How temporal fluctuations in their expression levels bias lineage commitment is unknown. Here, we generated knock-in reporter fusion ES cell lines allowing to monitor endogenous SOX2 and OCT4 protein fluctuations in living cells and to determine their impact on mesendodermal and neuroectodermal commitment. We found that small differences in SOX2 and OCT4 levels impact cell fate commitment in G1 but not in S phase. Elevated SOX2 levels modestly increased neuroectodermal commitment and decreased mesendodermal commitment upon directed differentiation. In contrast, elevated OCT4 levels strongly biased ES cells towards both neuroectodermal and mesendodermal fates in undirected differentiation. Using ATAC-seq on ES cells gated for different endogenous SOX2 and OCT4 levels, we found that high OCT4 levels increased chromatin accessibility at differentiation-associated enhancers. This suggests that small endogenous fluctuations of pioneer transcription factors can bias cell fate decisions by concentration-dependent priming of differentiation-associated enhancers.
Project description:In zebrafish, TATA-box-binding protein (TBP)-related factor 3, Trf3, is required for early development and initiation of hematopoiesis, and functions by promoting expression of a single target gene, mespa. Recent studies have shown that in murine muscle cells, TRF3 interacts with the TBP-associated factor TAF3. Here we investigate the role of Taf3 in zebrafish embryogenesis. We find that like Trf3-depleted zebrafish embryos, Taf3-depleted embryos exhibit multiple developmental defects and fail to undergo hematopoiesis. Both Trf3 and Taf3 are selectively bound to the mespa promoter and are required for mespa expression. Significantly, Taf3 interacts with Trf3 but not Tbp, and a Trf3 mutant that disrupts this interaction fails to support mespa transcription, early development, and hematopoiesis. Thus, a selective interaction between Trf3 and Taf3 is required for early zebrafish development and initiation of hematopoiesis. Finally, we provide evidence that TRF3 and TAF3 are also required for hematopoiesis initiation in the mouse.
Project description:Pluripotent cells give rise to distinct cell types during development and are regulated by often self-reinforcing molecular networks. How such networks allow cells to differentiate is less well understood. Here, we use integrative methods to show that external signals induce reorganization of the mouse embryonic stem cell pluripotency network and that a sub-network of four factors, Nac1, Oct4, Tcf3, and Sox2, regulates their differentiation into the alternative mesendodermal and neuroectodermal fates. In the mesendodermal fate, Nac1 and Oct4 were constrained within quantitative windows, whereas Sox2 and Tcf3 were repressed. In contrast, in the neuroectodermal fate, Sox2 and Tcf3 were constrained while Nac1 and Oct4 were repressed. In addition, we show that Nac1 coordinates differentiation by activating Oct4 and inhibiting both Sox2 and Tcf3. Reorganization of progenitor cell networks around shared factors might be a common differentiation strategy and our integrative approach provides a general methodology for delineating such networks.
Project description:Neuroectoderm is an important neural precursor. However, chromatin remodeling and its epigenetic regulatory roles during the differentiation of human neuroectodermal cells (hNECs) from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) remain largely unexplored. Here, we obtained hNECs through directed differentiation from hESCs, and determined chromatin states in the two cell types. Upon differentiation, H2A.Z-mediated nucleosome depletion leads to an open chromatin structure in promoters and upregulates expression of neuroectodermal genes. Increase in H3K9ac signals and decrease in H3K27me3 signals in promoters result in an active chromatin state and activate neuroectodermal genes. Conversely, decrease in H3K9ac signals and increase in H3K27me3 signals in promoters repress pluripotency genes. Moreover, H3K9ac signals facilitate the pluripotency factor Sox2 binding to target sites unique to hNECs. Knockdown of the acetyltransferase Kat2b erases H3K9ac signals, disrupts Sox2 binding, and fails the differentiation. Our results demonstrate a hierarchy of epigenetic regulation of gene expression during the differentiation of hNECs from hESCs through chromatin remodeling.
Project description:Change in the identity of the components of the transcription pre-initiation complex is proposed to control cell type-specific gene expression. Replacement of the canonical TFIID-TBP complex with TRF3/TBP2 was reported to be required for activation of muscle-gene expression. The lack of a developmental phenotype in TBP2 null mice prompted further analysis to determine whether TBP2 deficiency can compromise adult myogenesis. We show here that TBP2 null mice have an intact regeneration potential upon injury and that TBP2 is not expressed in established C2C12 muscle cell or in primary mouse MuSCs. While TFIID subunits and TBP are downregulated during myoblast differentiation, reduced amounts of these proteins form a complex that is detectable on promoters of muscle genes and is essential for their expression. This evidence demonstrates that TBP2 does not replace TBP during muscle differentiation, as previously proposed, with limiting amounts of TFIID-TBP being required to promote muscle-specific gene expression.