Transcriptional profiling by 4SU-seq in mouse ESCs and ESC-derived neural progenitor cells.
ABSTRACT: Nascent RNA was metabolically labelled with 4SU in undifferentiated and ESC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs). 4SU incorporated RNA was isolated and deep-sequenced at day 0 (ESCs), 3, 5 and 7 of differentiation. NPC differentiation was monitored through expression of a GFP reporter insereted into the Sox1 locus (46C reporter ESC line; PMID: 12524553). The aim was to monitor changes in transcription as ESCs differentiate into NPCs and relate this to enhancer activity. Overall design: For each of the 4 differentiation time points, two independent biological replicates were prepared and sequenced. For each assayed time point, both merged and individual replicate 4SU-seq profiles were generated.
Project description:Investigation of the differential translation rates of individual mRNA variants in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in ESC-derived neural precursor cells (NPCs) using polysome profiling coupled to RNA sequencing. Mouse ESCs were differentiated into Sox1-positive neural precursor cells (NPCs). One replicate of ESCs and NPCs were harvested and subjected to polysome fractionation. Fractions containing polysomes were purified and analysed by SOLiD sequencing. Expression levels in NPCs were compared to ESCs.
Project description:The differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is controlled by the interaction of multiple signaling pathways, typically mediated by post-translational protein modifications. The addition of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to serine and threonine residues of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins is one such modification (O-GlcNAcylation), whose function in ESCs is only now beginning to be elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that the specific inhibition of O-GlcNAc hydrolase (Oga) causes increased levels of protein O-GlcNAcylation and impairs differentiation of mouse ESCs both in serum-free monolayer and in embryoid bodies (EBs). Use of reporter cell lines demonstrates that Oga inhibition leads to a reduction in the number of Sox1-expressing neural progenitors generated following induction of neural differentiation as well as maintained expression of the ESC marker Oct4 (Pou5f1). In EBs, expression of mesodermal and endodermal markers is also delayed. However, the transition of naïve cells to primed pluripotency indicated by Rex1 (Zfp42), Nanog, Esrrb, and Dppa3 downregulation and Fgf5 upregulation remains unchanged. Finally, we demonstrate that increased O-GlcNAcylation results in upregulation of genes normally epigenetically silenced in ESCs, supporting the emerging role for this protein modification in the regulation of histone modifications and DNA methylation.
Project description:Long noncoding (lnc)RNAs have recently emerged as key regulators of gene expression. Here, we performed high-depth poly(A)(+) RNA sequencing across multiple clonal populations of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to comprehensively identify differentially regulated lncRNAs. We establish a biologically robust profile of lncRNA expression in these two cell types and further confirm that the majority of these lncRNAs are enriched in the nucleus. Applying weighted gene coexpression network analysis, we define a group of lncRNAs that are tightly associated with the pluripotent state of ESCs. Among these, we show that acute depletion of Platr14 using antisense oligonucleotides impacts the differentiation- and development-associated gene expression program of ESCs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Firre, a lncRNA highly enriched in the nucleoplasm and previously reported to mediate chromosomal contacts in ESCs, controls a network of genes related to RNA processing. Together, we provide a comprehensive, up-to-date, and high resolution compilation of lncRNA expression in ESCs and NPCs and show that nuclear lncRNAs are tightly integrated into the regulation of ESC gene expression.
Project description:Calcineurin activity is required for neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC). We assessed gene expression changes at several time points of in vitro ESC to neural differentiation when calcineurin activity is inhibitied by its antagonist FK506 and Cyclosporin(CsA). d4, d6, d8, and d12 EBs of FK506/CsA treatment group (d3-8) and its non-treated control group were harvested from three independent experiments of in vitro differentiation of 46C mouse ESCs. Total RNA of each sample was extracted, reverse transcribed, labeled and hybridized to Affymetric Mouse Gene ST 1.0 Arrays.
Project description:REST is abundantly expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Many genome-wide analyses have found REST to be an integral part of the ESC pluripotency network. However, experimental systems have produced contradictory findings: (1) REST is required for the maintenance of ESC pluripotency and loss of REST causes increased expression of differentiation markers, (2) REST is not required for the maintenance of ESC pluripotency and loss of REST does not change expression of differentiation markers, and (3) REST is not required for the maintenance of ESC pluripotency but loss of REST causes decreased expression of differentiation markers. These reports highlight gaps in our knowledge of the ESC network.Employing biochemical and genome-wide analyses of various culture conditions and ESC lines, we have attempted to resolve some of the discrepancies in the literature.We show that Rest+/- and Rest-/- AB-1 mutant ESCs, which did not exhibit a role of REST in ESC pluripotency when cultured in the presence of feeder cells, did show impaired self-renewal when compared with the parental cells under feeder-free culture conditions, but only in early passage cells. In late passage cells, both Rest+/- and Rest-/- AB-1 ESCs restored pluripotency, suggesting a passage and culture condition-dependent response. Genome-wide analysis followed by biochemical validation supported this response and further indicated that the restoration of pluripotency was associated by increased expression of the ESC pluripotency factors. E14Tg2a.4 ESCs with REST-knockdown, which earlier showed a REST-dependent pluripotency when cultured under feeder-free conditions, as well as Rest-/- AB-1 ESCs, showed no REST-dependent pluripotency when cultured in the presence of either feeder cells or laminin, indicating that extracellular matrix components can rescue REST's role in ESC pluripotency.REST regulates ESC pluripotency in culture condition- and ESC line-dependent fashion and ESC pluripotency needs to be evaluated in a context dependent manner.
Project description:Mouse parthenogenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are pluripotent cells generated from chemically activated oocytes. Haploid ESCs provide an opportunity to study the effect of genetic alterations because of their hemizygotic characteristics. However, their further application for the selection of unique phenotypes remains limited since ideal reporters to monitor biological processes such as cell differentiation are missing. Here, we report the application of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in of a reporter cassette, which does not disrupt endogenous target genes in mouse haploid ESCs. We first validated the system by inserting the P2A-Venus reporter cassette into the housekeeping gene locus. In addition to the conventional strategy using the Cas9 nuclease, we employed the Cas9 nickase and truncated sgRNAs to reduce off-target mutagenesis. These strategies induce targeted insertions with an efficiency that correlated with sgRNA guiding activity. We also engineered the neural marker gene Sox1 locus and verified the precise insertion of the P2A-Venus reporter cassette and its functionality by monitoring neural differentiation. Our data demonstrate the successful application of the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in system for establishing haploid knock-in ESC lines carrying gene specific reporters. Genetically modified haploid ESCs have potential for applications in forward genetic screening of developmental pathways.
Project description:While years of investigation have elucidated many aspects of embryonic stem cell (ESC) regulation, the contributions of post-transcriptional and translational mechanisms to the pluripotency network remain largely unexplored. In particular, little is known in ESCs about the function of RNA binding proteins (RBPs), the protein agents of post-transcriptional regulation. We performed an unbiased RNAi screen of RBPs in an ESC differentiation assay and identified two related genes, NF45 (Ilf2) and NF90/NF110 (Ilf3), whose knockdown promoted differentiation to an epiblast-like state. Characterization of NF45 KO, NF90 + NF110 KO, and NF110 KO ESCs showed that loss of NF45 or NF90 + NF110 impaired ESC proliferation and led to dysregulated differentiation down embryonic lineages. Additionally, we found that NF45 and NF90/NF110 physically interact and influence the expression of each other at different levels of regulation. Globally across the transcriptome, NF45 KO ESCs and NF90 + NF110 KO ESCs show similar expression changes. Moreover, NF90 + NF110 RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP)-seq in ESCs suggested that NF90/NF110 directly regulate proliferation, differentiation, and RNA-processing genes. Our data support a model in which NF45, NF90, and NF110 operate in feedback loops that enable them, through both overlapping and independent targets, to help balance the push and pull of pluripotency and differentiation cues.
Project description:The capacity of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to differentiate into all lineages of mature organism is precisely regulated by cellular signaling factors. STAT3 is a crucial transcription factor that plays a central role in maintaining ESC identity. However, the underlying mechanism by which STAT3 directs differentiation is still not completely understood. Here, we show that STAT3 positively regulates gene expression of methyltransferase-like protein 8 (Mettl8) in mouse ESCs. We found that METTL8 is dispensable for pluripotency but affects ESC differentiation. Subsequently, we discovered that METTL8 interacts with Mapkbp1's mRNA, which is an intermediate factor in c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling, and inhibits the translation of the mRNA. Thereby, METTL8 prohibits the activation of JNK signaling and enhances the differentiation of mouse ESCs. Collectively, our study uncovers a STAT3 target, Mettl8, which regulates mouse ESC differentiation via JNK signaling.
Project description:Studies have demonstrated that STAT3 is essential in maintaining self-renewal of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and modulates ESC differentiation. However, there is still lack of direct evidence on STAT3 functions in ESCs and embryogenesis because constitutive STAT3 knockout (KO) mouse is embryonic lethal at E6.5-E7.5, prior to potential functional role in early development can be assessed. Therefore, in this study, two inducible STAT3 ESC lines were established, including the STAT3 knockout (InSTAT3 KO) and pSTAT3 overexpressed (InSTAT3 CA) using Tet-on inducible system in which STAT3 expression can be strictly controlled by doxycycline (Dox) stimulation. Through genotyping, deletion of STAT3 alleles was detected in InSTAT3 KO ESCs following 24 hours Dox stimulation. Western blot also showed that pSTAT3 and STAT3 protein levels were significantly reduced in InSTAT3 KO ESCs while dominantly elevated in InSTAT3 CA ECSs upon Dox stimulation. Likewise, it was found that STAT3-null ESCs would affect the differentiation of ESCs into mesoderm and cardiac lineage. Taken together, the findings of this study indicated that InSTAT3 KO and InSTAT3 CA ESCs could provide a new tool to clarify the direct targets of STAT3 and its role in ESC maintenance, which will facilitate the elaboration of the mechanisms whereby STAT3 maintains ESC pluripotency and regulates ESC differentiation during mammalian embryogenesis.
Project description:Upon removal of culture conditions that maintain an undifferentiated state, mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) differentiate into various cell types. Differentiation can be facilitated by forced expression of certain transcription factors (TFs), each of which can generally specify a particular developmental lineage. We previously established 137 mouse ESC lines, each of which carried a doxycycline-controllable TF. Among them, Sox9 has unique capacity: its forced expression accelerates differentiation of mouse ESCs into cells of all three germ layers. With the additional use of specific culture conditions, overexpression of Sox9 facilitated the generation of endothelial cells, hepatocytes and neurons from ESCs. Furthermore, Sox9 action increases formation of p21 (WAF1/CIP1), which then binds to the SRR2 enhancer of pluripotency marker Sox2 and inhibits its expression. Knockdown of p21 abolishes inhibition of Sox2 and Sox9-accelerated differentiation, and reduction of Sox2 2 days after the beginning of ESC differentiation can comparably accelerate mouse ESC formation of cells of three germ layers. These data implicate the involvement of the p21-Sox2 pathway in the mechanism of accelerated ESC differentiation by Sox9 overexpression. The molecular cascade could be among the first steps to program ESC differentiation.