Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a newly discovered endogenous class of small, noncoding RNAs that play important posttranscriptional regulatory roles by targeting messenger RNAs for cleavage or translational repression. Human embryonic stem cells are known to express miRNAs that are often undetectable in adult organs, and a growing body of evidence has implicated miRNAs as important arbiters of heart development and disease.To better understand the transition between the human embryonic and cardiac "miRNA-omes," we report here the first miRNA profiling study of cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells. Analyzing 711 unique miRNAs, we have identified several interesting miRNAs, including miR-1, -133, and -208, that have been previously reported to be involved in cardiac development and disease and that show surprising patterns of expression across our samples. We also identified novel miRNAs, such as miR-499, that are strongly associated with cardiac differentiation and that share many predicted targets with miR-208. Overexpression of miR-499 and -1 resulted in upregulation of important cardiac myosin heavy-chain genes in embryoid bodies; miR-499 overexpression also caused upregulation of the cardiac transcription factor MEF2C.Taken together, our data give significant insight into the regulatory networks that govern human embryonic stem cell differentiation and highlight the ability of miRNAs to perturb, and even control, the genes that are involved in cardiac specification of human embryonic stem cells.
Project description:MicroRNA expression profiling in human liver progenitor cells following hepatocytic differentiation identified miR-122 and miR-194 as the microRNAs most strongly upregulated during hepatocytic differentiation of progenitor cells. MiR-194 was also highly upregulated following hepatocytic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Overexpression of miR-194 in progenitor cells accelerated their differentiation into hepatocytes, as measured by morphological features such as canaliculi and expression of hepatocytic markers. Overexpression of miR-194 in hESCs induced their spontaneous differentiation, a phenotype accompanied with accelerated loss of the pluripotent factors OCT4 and NANOG and decrease in mesoderm marker HAND1 expression. We then identified YAP1 as a direct target of miR-194. Inhibition of YAP1 strongly induced hepatocytic differentiation of progenitor cells and YAP1 overexpression reversed the miR-194-induced hepatocytic differentiation of progenitor cells. In conclusion, we identified miR-194 as a potent inducer of hepatocytic differentiation of progenitor cells and further identified YAP1 as a mediator of miR-194's effects on hepatocytic differentiation and liver progenitor cell fate. Stem Cells 2016;34:1284-1296.
Project description:Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into pancreatic ? cells holds great promise for the treatment of diabetes. Recent advances have led to the production of glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells in vitro, but resulting cells remain less mature than their adult primary ? cell counterparts. The barrier(s) to in vitro ? cell maturation are unclear. Here, we evaluated a potential role for microRNAs. MicroRNA profiling showed high expression of let-7 family microRNAs in vivo, but not in in vitro differentiated ? cells. Reduced levels of let-7 in vitro were associated with increased levels of the RNA binding protein LIN28B, a negative regulator of let-7 biogenesis. Ablation of LIN28B during human embryonic stem cell (hESC) differentiation toward ? cells led to a more mature glucose-stimulated insulin secretion profile and the suppression of juvenile-specific genes. However, let-7 overexpression had little effect. These results uncover LIN28B as a modulator of ? cell maturation in vitro.
Project description:Dry eye disease is the most prevalent pathological condition in aging eyes. One potential therapeutic strategy is the transplantation of lacrimal glands, generated in vitro from pluripotent stem cells such as human embryonic stem cells, into patients. One of the preceding requirements is a method to differentiate human embryonic stem cells into lacrimal gland epithelium cells. As the first step for this approach, this study aims to identify a set of transcription factors whose overexpression can promote the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into lacrimal gland epithelium-like cells. We performed microarray analyses of lacrimal glands and lacrimal glands-related organs obtained from mouse embryos and adults, and identified transcription factors enriched in lacrimal gland epithelium cells. We then transfected synthetic messenger RNAs encoding human orthologues of these transcription factors into human embryonic stem cells and examined whether the human embryonic stem cells differentiate into lacrimal gland epithelium-like cells by assessing cell morphology and marker gene expression. The microarray analysis of lacrimal glands tissues identified 16 transcription factors that were enriched in lacrimal gland epithelium cells. We focused on three of the transcription factors, because they are expressed in other glands such as salivary glands and are also known to be involved in the development of lacrimal glands. We tested the overexpression of various combinations of the three transcription factors and PAX6, which is an indispensable gene for lacrimal glands development, in human embryonic stem cells. Combining PAX6, SIX1, and FOXC1 caused significant changes in morphology, i.e., elongated cell shape and increased expression (both RNAs and proteins) of epithelial markers such as cytokeratin15, branching morphogenesis markers such as BARX2, and lacrimal glands markers such as aquaporin5 and lactoferrin. We identified a set of transcription factors enriched in lacrimal gland epithelium cells and demonstrated that the simultaneous overexpression of these transcription factors can differentiate human embryonic stem cells into lacrimal gland epithelium-like cells. This study suggests the possibility of lacrimal glands regeneration from human pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have been generated from human somatic cells by ectopic expression of four Yamanaka factors. Here, we report that Survivin, an apoptosis inhibitor, can enhance iPS cells generation from human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) together with one factor OCT4 (1F-OCT4-Survivin). Compared with 1F-OCT4, Survivin accelerates the process of reprogramming from human NPCs. The neurocyte-originated induced pluripotent stem (NiPS) cells generated from 1F-OCT4-Survivin resemble human embryonic stem (hES) cells in morphology, surface markers, global gene expression profiling, and epigenetic status. Survivin keeps high expression in both iPS and ES cells. During the process of NiPS cell to neural cell differentiation, the expression of Survivin is rapidly decreased in protein level. The mechanism of Survivin promotion of reprogramming efficiency from NPCs may be associated with stabilization of ?-catenin in WNT signaling pathway. This hypothesis is supported by experiments of RT-PCR, chromatin immune-precipitation, and Western blot in human ES cells. Our results showed overexpression of Survivin could improve the efficiency of reprogramming from NPCs to iPS cells by one factor OCT4 through stabilization of the key molecule, ?-catenin.
Project description:To identify the miRNA that potentially promote the maturation of Embryonic Stem Cells-Derived Cardiomyocytes, we performed miRNA assay profiling to further know the miRNA expression that differentially expressed after coculture with endothelial cells To further know the miRNA expression that differentially expressed after coculture with endothelial cells, we performed miRNA assay profiling to identify the miRNA that potentially promote the maturation of Embryonic Stem Cells-Derived Cardiomyocytes Embryonic Stem Cells-Derived Cardiomyocytes were re-sorted from coculture system with GFP promoter
Project description:BACKGROUND:The uneven use of synonymous codons in the transcriptome regulates the efficiency and fidelity of protein translation rates. Yet, the importance of this codon bias in regulating cell state-specific expression programmes is currently debated. Here, we ask whether different codon usage controls gene expression programmes in self-renewing and differentiating embryonic stem cells. RESULTS:Using ribosome and transcriptome profiling, we identify distinct codon signatures during human embryonic stem cell differentiation. We find that cell state-specific codon bias is determined by the guanine-cytosine (GC) content of differentially expressed genes. By measuring the codon frequencies at the ribosome active sites interacting with transfer RNAs (tRNA), we further discover that self-renewing cells optimize translation of codons that depend on the inosine tRNA modification in the anticodon wobble position. Accordingly, inosine levels are highest in human pluripotent embryonic stem cells. This effect is conserved in mice and is independent of the differentiation stimulus. CONCLUSIONS:We show that GC content influences cell state-specific mRNA levels, and we reveal how translational mechanisms based on tRNA modifications change codon usage in embryonic stem cells.
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are a unique in vitro model for studying human developmental biology and represent a potential source for cell replacement strategies. Platelets can be generated from cord blood progenitors and hESCs; however, the molecular mechanisms and determinants controlling the in vitro megakaryocytic specification of hESCs remain elusive. We have recently shown that stem cell leukemia (SCL) overexpression accelerates the emergence of hemato-endothelial progenitors from hESCs and promotes their subsequent differentiation into blood cells with higher clonogenic potential. Given that SCL participates in megakaryocytic commitment, we hypothesized that it may potentiate megakaryopoiesis from hESCs. We show that ectopic SCL expression enhances the emergence of megakaryocytic precursors, mature megakaryocytes (MKs), and platelets in vitro. SCL-overexpressing MKs and platelets respond to different activating stimuli similar to their control counterparts. Gene expression profiling of megakaryocytic precursors shows that SCL overexpression renders a megakaryopoietic molecular signature. Connectivity Map analysis reveals that trichostatin A (TSA) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), both histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, functionally mimic SCL-induced effects. Finally, we confirm that both TSA and SAHA treatment promote the emergence of CD34(+) progenitors, whereas valproic acid, another HDAC inhibitor, potentiates MK and platelet production. We demonstrate that SCL and HDAC inhibitors are megakaryopoiesis regulators in hESCs.
Project description:The transcription factor STAT3 is a downstream target of the LIF signalling cascade. LIF signalling or activation is sufficient to maintain embryonic stem (ES) cells in an undifferentiated and pluripotent state. To further investigate the importance of STAT3 in the establishment of ES cells we have in a first step derived stable pluripotent embryonic stem cells from transgenic FVB mice expressing a conditional tamoxifen dependent STAT3-MER fusion protein. In a second step, STAT3-MER overexpressing cells were used to identify STAT3 pathway-related genes by expression profiling in order to identify new key-players involved in maintenance of pluripotency in ES cells.Transgenic STAT3-MER blastocysts yielded pluripotent germline-competent ES cells at a high frequency in the absence of LIF when established in tamoxifen-containing medium. Expression profiling of tamoxifen-induced transgenic FVB ES cell lines revealed a set of 26 genes that were markedly up- or down-regulated when compared with wild type cells. The expression of four of the up-regulated genes (Hexokinase II, Lefty2, Pramel7, PP1rs15B) was shown to be restricted to the inner cell mass (ICM) of the blastocysts. These differentially expressed genes represent potential candidates for the maintenance of pluripotency of ES cells. We finally overexpressed two candidate genes, Pem/Rhox5 and Pramel7, in ES cells and demonstrated that their overexpression is sufficient for the maintenance of expression of ES cell markers as well as of the typical morphology of pluripotent ES cells in absence of LIF.Overexpression of STAT3-MER in the inner cell mass of blastocyst facilitates the establishment of ES cells and induces the upregulation of potential candidate genes involved in the maintenance of pluripotency. Two of them, Pem/Rhox5 and Pramel7, when overexpressed in ES cells are able to maintain the embryonic stem cells in a pluripotent state in a LIF independent manner as STAT3 or Nanog.