Oldak B., Wildschutz E., Bondarenko V., Comar M., Zhao C., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Tarazi S., Viukov S., Pham T. X. A., Ashouokhi S., Lokshtanov D., Roncato F., Ariel E., Rose M., Livnat N., Shani T., Joubran C., Cohen R., Addadi Y., Chemla M., Kedmi M., Keren-Shaul H., Pasque V., Petropoulos S., Lanner F., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
The ability to study human post-implantation development remains limited due to ethical and technical challenges associated with intrauterine development after implantation1. Embryo-like models with spatially organized morphogenesis of all defining embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues of the post-implantation human conceptus (i.e., embryonic disk, bilaminar disk, yolk- and chorionic sacs, surrounding trophoblasts) remain lacking2. Mouse naïve embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have recently been shown to give rise to embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells capable of self-assembling into post-gastrulation mouse Structured Stem cell-based Embryo Models with spatially organized morphogenesis (SEMs)3. Here, we extend these findings to humans, while using only genetically unmodified human naïve ESCs (in HENSM conditions)4. Such human fully integrated SEMs recapitulate the organization of nearly all known lineages and compartments of post-implantation human embryos including epiblast, hypoblast, extra-embryonic mesoderm, and trophoblast surrounding the latter layers. These human complete SEMs demonstrated developmental growth dynamics that resemble key hallmarks of post-implantation stage embryogenesis up to 13-14 days post-fertilization (dpf) (Carnegie stage 6a). This includes embryonic disk and bilaminar disk formation, epiblast lumenogenesis, polarized amniogenesis, anterior-posterior symmetry breaking, PGC specification, polarized yolk sac with visceral and parietal endoderm, extra-embryonic mesoderm expansion that defines a chorionic cavity and a connecting stalk, a trophoblast surrounding compartment demonstrating syncytium and lacunae formation. This SEM platform may enable the experimental interrogation of previously inaccessible windows of human early post-implantation up to peri-gastrulation development.
Hamashima K., Wong K. W., Sam T. W., Teo J. H. J., Taneja R., Le M. T., Li Q. J., Hanna J. H., Li H. & Loh Y. H.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification plays important roles in the governance of gene expression and is temporally regulated in different cell states. In contrast to global m6A profiling in bulk sequencing, single-cell technologies for analyzing m6A heterogeneity are not extensively established. Here, we developed single-nucleus m6A-CUT&Tag (sn-m6A-CT) for simultaneous profiling of m6A methylomes and transcriptomes within a single nucleus using mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). m6A-CT is capable of enriching m6A-marked RNA molecules in situ, without isolating RNAs from cells. We adapted m6A-CT to the droplet-based single-cell omics platform and demonstrated high-throughput performance in analyzing nuclei isolated from thousands of cells from various cell types. We show that sn-m6A-CT profiling is sufficient to determine cell identity and allows the generation of cell-type-specific m6A methylome landscapes from heterogeneous populations. These indicate that sn-m6A-CT provides additional dimensions to multimodal datasets and insights into epitranscriptomic landscape in defining cell fate identity and states.
Zhang Y., Zhang W., Zhao J., Ito T., Jin J., Aparicio A. O., Zhou J., Guichard V., Fang Y., Que J., Urban J. F., Hanna J. H., Ghosh S., Wu X., Ding L., Basu U. & Huang Y.
Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) can quickly switch from a quiescent state to an active state and rapidly produce effector molecules that provide critical early immune protection. How the post-transcriptional machinery processes different stimuli and initiates robust gene expression in ILCs is poorly understood. Here, we show that deletion of the N 6-methyladenosine (m6A) writer protein METTL3 has little impact on ILC homeostasis or cytokine-induced ILC1 or ILC3 responses but significantly diminishes ILC2 proliferation, migration and effector cytokine production and results in impaired antihelminth immunity. m6A RNA modification supports an increase in cell size and transcriptional activity in activated ILC2s but not in ILC1s or ILC3s. Among other transcripts, the gene encoding the transcription factor GATA3 is highly m6A methylated in ILC2s. Targeted m6A demethylation destabilizes nascent Gata3 mRNA and abolishes the upregulation of GATA3 and ILC2 activation. Our study suggests a lineage-specific requirement of m6A for ILC2 responses.
Kshirsagar A., Doroshev S. M., Gorelik A., Olender T., Sapir T., Tsuboi D., Rosenhek-Goldian I., Malitsky S., Itkin M., Argoetti A., Mandel-Gutfreund Y., Cohen S. R., Hanna J. H., Ulitsky I., Kaibuchi K. & Reiner O.
Lissencephaly-1 (LIS1) is associated with neurodevelopmental diseases and is known to regulate the molecular motor cytoplasmic dynein activity. Here we show that LIS1 is essential for the viability of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), and it governs the physical properties of these cells. LIS1 dosage substantially affects gene expression, and we uncovered an unexpected interaction of LIS1 with RNA and RNA-binding proteins, most prominently the Argonaute complex. We demonstrate that LIS1 overexpression partially rescued the extracellular matrix (ECM) expression and mechanosensitive genes conferring stiffness to Argonaute null mESCs. Collectively, our data transforms the current perspective on the roles of LIS1 in post-transcriptional regulation underlying development and mechanosensitive processes.
Dekel C., Morey R., Hanna J., Laurent L. C., Ben-Yosef D. & Amir H.
A detailed understanding of the developmental substates of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) is needed to optimize their use in cell therapy and for modeling early development. Genetic instability and risk of tumorigenicity of primed hPSCs are well documented, but a systematic isogenic comparison between substates has not been performed. We derived four hESC lines in naive human stem cell medium (NHSM) and generated isogenic pairs of NHSM and primed cultures. Through phenotypic, transcriptomic, and methylation profiling, we identified changes that arose during the transition to a primed substate. Although early NHSM cultures displayed naive characteristics, including greater proliferation and clonogenic potential compared with primed cultures, they drifted toward a more primed-like substate over time, including accumulation of genetic abnormalities. Overall, we show that transcriptomic and epigenomic profiling can be used to place human pluripotent cultures along a developmental continuum and may inform their utility for clinical and research applications.
Oldak B., Aguilera-Castrejon A. & Hanna J. H.
Current opinion in genetics & development.
Research on early postimplantation mammalian development has been limited by the small size and intrauterine confinement of the developing embryos. Owing to the inability to observe and manipulate living embryos at these stages in utero, the establishment of robust ex utero embryo-culture systems that capture prolonged periods of mouse development has been an important research goal. In the last few years, these methods have been significantly improved by the optimization and enhancement of in vitro culture systems sustaining embryo development during peri-implantation stages for several species, and more recently, proper growth of natural mouse embryos from pregastrulation to late organogenesis stages and of embryonic stem cell (ES)-derived synthetic embryo models until early organogenesis stages. Here, we discuss the most recent ex utero embryo-culture systems established to date for rodents, nonhuman primates, and humans. We emphasize their technical aspects and developmental timeframe and provide insights into the new opportunities that these methods will contribute to the study of natural and synthetic mammalian embryogenesis and the stem-cell field.
Viukov S., Shani T., Bayerl J., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Oldak B., Sheban D., Tarazi S., Stelzer Y., Hanna J. H. & Novershtern N.
Stem Cell Reports.
The recent derivation of human trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) from placental cytotrophoblasts and blastocysts opened opportunities for studying the development and function of the human placenta. Recent reports have suggested that human naïve, but not primed, pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) retain an exclusive potential to generate TSCs. Here we report that, in the absence of WNT stimulation, transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) pathway inhibition leads to direct and robust conversion of primed human PSCs into TSCs. The resulting primed PSC-derived TSC lines exhibit self-renewal, can differentiate into the main trophoblast lineages, and present RNA and epigenetic profiles that are indistinguishable from recently established TSC lines derived from human placenta, blastocysts, or isogenic human naïve PSCs expanded under human enhanced naïve stem cell medium (HENSM) conditions. Activation of nuclear Yes-associated protein (YAP) signaling is sufficient for this conversion and necessary for human TSC maintenance. Our findings underscore a residual plasticity in primed human PSCs that allows their in vitro conversion into extra-embryonic trophoblast lineages.
Amadei G., Handford C. E., Qiu C., De Jonghe J., Greenfeld H., Tran M., Martin B. K., Chen D., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Hanna J. H., Elowitz M., Hollfelder F., Shendure J., Glover D. M. & Zernicka-Goetz M.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells can undergo many aspects of mammalian embryogenesis in vitro
1–5, but their developmental potential is substantially extended by interactions with extraembryonic stem cells, including trophoblast stem (TS) cells, extraembryonic endoderm stem (XEN) cells and inducible XEN (iXEN) cells
6–11. Here we assembled stem cell-derived embryos in vitro from mouse ES cells, TS cells and iXEN cells and showed that they recapitulate the development of whole natural mouse embryo in utero up to day 8.5 post-fertilization. Our embryo model displays headfolds with defined forebrain and midbrain regions and develops a beating heart-like structure, a trunk comprising a neural tube and somites, a tail bud containing neuromesodermal progenitors, a gut tube, and primordial germ cells. This complete embryo model develops within an extraembryonic yolk sac that initiates blood island development. Notably, we demonstrate that the neurulating embryo model assembled from Pax6-knockout ES cells aggregated with wild-type TS cells and iXEN cells recapitulates the ventral domain expansion of the neural tube that occurs in natural, ubiquitous Pax6-knockout embryos. Thus, these complete embryoids are a powerful in vitro model for dissecting the roles of diverse cell lineages and genes in development. Our results demonstrate the self-organization ability of ES cells and two types of extraembryonic stem cells to reconstitute mammalian development through and beyond gastrulation to neurulation and early organogenesis.
Tarazi S., Aguilera Castrejon A., Joubran C., Ghanem N., Ashouokhi S., Roncato F., Wildschutz E., Haddad M., Oldak B., Gomez-Cesar E., Livnat N., Viukov S., Lukshtanov D., Naveh Tassa S., Rose M., Issaq - Hanna S., Raanan C., Brenner O. J., Kedmi M., Keren-Shaul H., Lapidot T., Maza I., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. (.
In vitro cultured stem cells with distinct developmental capacities can contribute to embryonic or extra-embryonic tissues after microinjection into pre-implantation mammalian embryos. However, whether cultured stem cells can independently give rise to entire gastrulating embryo-like structures with embryonic and extra-embryonic compartments, remains unknown. Here we adapt a recently established platform for prolonged ex utero growth of natural embryos, to generate mouse post-gastrulation synthetic whole embryo models (sEmbryos), with both embryonic and extra-embryonic compartments, starting solely from naïve ESCs. This was achieved by co-aggregating non-transduced ESCs, with naïve ESCs transiently expressing Cdx2- and Gata4- to promote their priming towards trophectoderm and primitive endoderm lineages, respectively. sEmbryos adequately accomplish gastrulation, advance through key developmental milestones, and develop organ progenitors within complex extra-embryonic compartments similar to E8.5 stage mouse embryos. Our findings highlight the plastic potential of naïve pluripotent cells to self-organize and functionally reconstitute and model the entire mammalian embryo beyond gastrulation.
Grenov A., Hezroni H., Lasman L., Hanna J. H. & Shulman Z.
Cell reports (Cambridge).
Antibody-mediated immunity is initiated by B cell differentiation into multiple cell subsets, including plasmablast, memory, and germinal center (GC) cells. B cell differentiation trajectories are determined by transcription factors, yet very few mechanisms that specifically determine early B cell fates have been described. Here, we report a post-transcriptional mechanism that suppresses the plasmablast genetic program and promotes GC B cell fate commitment. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis reveals that antigen-specific B cell precursors at the pre-GC stage upregulate YTHDF2, which enhances the decay of methylated transcripts. Ythdf2-deficient B cells exhibit intact proliferation and activation, whereas differentiation into GC B cells is blocked. Mechanistically, B cells require YTHDF2 to attenuate the plasmablast genetic program during GC seeding, and transcripts of key plasmablast-regulating genes are methylated and bound by YTHDF2. Collectively, this study reveals how post-transcriptional suppression of gene expression directs appropriate B cell fate commitment during initiation of the adaptive immune response.
Li J., Xu B., He M., Zong X., Cunningham T., Sha C., Fan Y., Cross R., Hanna J. H. & Feng Y.
Cell reports (Cambridge).
Regulatory T (Treg) cells play crucial roles in suppressing deleterious immune response. Here, we investigate how Treg cells are mechanistically induced in vitro (iTreg) and stabilized via transcriptional regulation of Treg lineage-specifying factor Foxp3. We find that acetylation of histone tails at the Foxp3 promoter is required for inducing Foxp3 transcription. Upon induction, histone acetylation signals via bromodomain-containing proteins, particularly targets of inhibitor JQ1, and sustains Foxp3 transcription via a global or trans effect. Subsequently, Tet-mediated DNA demethylation of Foxp3 cis-regulatory elements, mainly enhancer CNS2, increases chromatin accessibility and protein binding, stabilizing Foxp3 transcription and obviating the need for the histone acetylation signal. These processes transform stochastic iTreg induction into a stable cell fate, with the former sensitive and the latter resistant to genetic and environmental perturbations. Thus, sequential histone acetylation and DNA demethylation in Foxp3 induction and maintenance reflect stepwise mechanical switches governing iTreg cell lineage specification.
Sheban D., Shani T., Maor R., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Mor N., Oldak B., Shmueli M. D., Eisenberg-Lerner A., Bayerl J., Hebert J., Viukov S., Chen G., Kacen A., Krupalnik V., Chugaeva V., Tarazi S., Rodríguez-delaRosa A., Zerbib M., Ulman A., Masarwi S., Kupervaser M., Levin Y., Shema E., David Y., Novershtern N., Hanna J. H. & Merbl Y.
The fidelity of the early embryonic program is underlined by tight regulation of the chromatin. Yet, how the chromatin is organized to prohibit the reversal of the developmental program remains unclear. Specifically, the totipotency-to-pluripotency transition marks one of the most dramatic events to the chromatin, and yet, the nature of histone alterations underlying this process is incompletely characterized. Here, we show that linker histone H1 is post-translationally modulated by SUMO2/3, which facilitates its fixation onto ultra-condensed heterochromatin in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Upon SUMOylation depletion, the chromatin becomes de-compacted and H1 is evicted, leading to totipotency reactivation. Furthermore, we show that H1 and SUMO2/3 jointly mediate the repression of totipotent elements. Lastly, we demonstrate that preventing SUMOylation on H1 abrogates its ability to repress the totipotency program in ESCs. Collectively, our findings unravel a critical role for SUMOylation of H1 in facilitating chromatin repression and desolation of the totipotent identity.
Aguilera-Castrejon A. & Hanna J. H.
Postimplantation mammalian embryo culture methods have been generally inefficient and limited to brief periods after dissection out of the uterus. Platforms have been recently developed for highly robust and prolonged ex utero culture of mouse embryos from egg-cylinder stages until advanced organogenesis. These platforms enable appropriate and faithful development of pregastrulating embryos (E5.5) until the hind limb formation stage (E11). Late gastrulating embryos (E7.5) are grown in rotating bottles in these settings, while extended culture from pregastrulation stages (E5.5 or E6.5) requires a combination of static and rotating bottle cultures. In addition, sensitive regulation of O2 and CO2 concentration, gas pressure, glucose levels, and the use of a specific ex utero culture medium are critical for proper embryo development. Here, a detailed step-by-step protocol for extended ex utero mouse embryo culture is provided. The ability to grow normal mouse embryos ex utero from gastrulation to organogenesis represents a valuable tool for characterizing the effect of different experimental perturbations during embryonic development.
Bayerl J., Ayyash M., Shani T., Manor Y. S., Gafni O., Massarwa R., Kalma Y., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Zerbib M., Amir H., Sheban D., Geula S., Mor N., Weinberger L., Naveh Tassa S., Krupalnik V., Oldak B., Livnat N., Tarazi S., Wildschutz E., Tawil S., Ashouokhi S., Lasman L., Rotter V., Hanna S., Ben-Yosef D., Novershtern N., Viukov S. & Hanna J. H.
Cell Stem Cell.
Isolating human MEK/ERK signaling-independent pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) with naive pluripotency characteristics while maintaining differentiation competence and (epi)genetic integrity remains challenging. Here, we engineer reporter systems that allow the screening for defined conditions that induce molecular and functional features of human naive pluripotency. Synergistic inhibition of WNT/β-CATENIN, protein kinase C (PKC), and SRC signaling consolidates the induction of teratoma-competent naive human PSCs, with the capacity to differentiate into trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) and extraembryonic naive endodermal (nEND) cells in vitro. Divergent signaling and transcriptional requirements for boosting naive pluripotency were found between mouse and human. P53 depletion in naive hPSCs increased their contribution to mouse-human cross-species chimeric embryos upon priming and differentiation. Finally, MEK/ERK inhibition can be substituted with the inhibition of NOTCH/RBPj, which induces alternative naive-like hPSCs with a diminished risk for deleterious global DNA hypomethylation. Our findings set a framework for defining the signaling foundations of human naive pluripotency.
Grenov A. C., Moss L., Edelheit S., Cordiner R., Schmiedel D., Biram A., Hanna J. H., Jensen T. H., Schwartz S. & Shulman Z.
Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Long-lasting immunity depends on the generation of protective antibodies through the germinal center (GC) reaction. N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of mRNAs by METTL3 activity modulates transcript lifetime primarily through the function of m6A readers; however, the physiological role of this molecular machinery in the GC remains unknown. Here, we show that m6A modifications by METTL3 are required for GC maintenance through the differential functions of m6A readers. Mettl3-deficient GC B cells exhibited reduced cell-cycle progression and decreased expression of proliferation- and oxidative phosphorylation-related genes. The m6A binder, IGF2BP3, was required for stabilization of Myc mRNA and expression of its target genes, whereas the m6A reader, YTHDF2, indirectly regulated the expression of the oxidative phosphorylation gene program. Our findings demonstrate how two independent gene networks that support critical GC functions are modulated by m6A through distinct mRNA binders.
Aguilera-Castrejon A., Shani T., Ghanem N., Itzkovich C., Slomovich S., Tarazi S., Bayerl J., Chugaeva V., Ayyash M., Ashouokhi S., Sheban D., Livnat N., Lasman L., Viukov S., Zerbib M., Addadi Y., Rais Y., Cheng S., Keren-Shaul H., Stelzer Y., Shlomo R., Massarwa R., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
The mammalian body plan is established shortly after the embryo implants into the maternal uterus, and our understanding of post-implantation developmental processes remains limited. Although pre- and peri-implantation mouse embryos are routinely cultured in vitro
1,2, approaches for the robust culture of post-implantation embryos from egg cylinder stages until advanced organogenesis remain to be established. Here we present highly effective platforms for the ex utero culture of post-implantation mouse embryos, which enable the appropriate development of embryos from before gastrulation (embryonic day (E) 5.5) until the hindlimb formation stage (E11). Late gastrulating embryos (E7.5) are grown in three-dimensional rotating bottles, whereas extended culture from pre-gastrulation stages (E5.5 or E6.5) requires a combination of static and rotating bottle culture platforms. Histological, molecular and single-cell RNA sequencing analyses confirm that the ex utero cultured embryos recapitulate in utero development precisely. This culture system is amenable to the introduction of a variety of embryonic perturbations and micro-manipulations, the results of which can be followed ex utero for up to six days. The establishment of a system for robustly growing normal mouse embryos ex utero from pre-gastrulation to advanced organogenesis represents a valuable tool for investigating embryogenesis, as it eliminates the uterine barrier and allows researchers to mechanistically interrogate post-implantation morphogenesis and artificial embryogenesis in mammals.
Mitsunaga S., Shioda K., Hanna J. H., Isselbacher K. J. & Shioda T.
Testicular Germ Cell Tumors: Methods and Protocols
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are common ancestors of all germline cells. In mammals, PGCs emerge in early-stage embryos around the timing of gastrulation at or near epiblast, and specification of PGCs from their precursor cells involves multiple growth factors secreted by adjacent cells. Recent advancements in germline stem cell biology have made it possible to generate PGC-like cell culture models (PGCLCs for PGC-like cells) from human and mouse pluripotent stem cells by mimicking the embryonic growth factor environment in vitro. Here we describe a method of producing human PGCLCs from primed-pluripotency induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) via temporal conversion to naive pluripotency followed by formation of embryoid bodies (EBs) using the spin-EB method.
Marmor-Kollet H., Siany A., Kedersha N., Knafo N., Rivkin N., Danino Y. M., Moens T. G., Olender T., Sheban D., Cohen N., Dadosh T., Addadi Y., Ravid R., Eitan C., Toth Cohen B., Hofmann S., Riggs C. L., Advani V. M., Higginbottom A., Cooper-Knock J., Hanna J. H., Merbl Y., Van Den Bosch L., Anderson P., Ivanov P., Geiger T. & Hornstein E.
Stress granules (SGs) are cytoplasmic assemblies of proteins and non-translating mRNAs. Whereas much has been learned about SG formation, a major gap remains in understanding the compositional changes SGs undergo during normal disassembly and under disease conditions. Here, we address this gap by proteomic dissection of the SG temporal disassembly sequence using multi-bait APEX proximity proteomics. We discover 109 novel SG proteins and characterize distinct SG substructures. We reveal dozens of disassembly-engaged proteins (DEPs), some of which play functional roles in SG disassembly, including small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) conjugating enzymes. We further demonstrate that SUMOylation regulates SG disassembly and SG formation. Parallel proteomics with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-associated C9ORF72 dipeptides uncovered attenuated DEP recruitment during SG disassembly and impaired SUMOylation. Accordingly, SUMO activity ameliorated C9ORF72-ALS-related neurodegeneration in Drosophila. By dissecting the SG spatiotemporal proteomic landscape, we provide an in-depth resource for future work on SG function and reveal basic and disease-relevant mechanisms of SG disassembly.
Lasman L., Krupalnik V., Viukov S., Mor N., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Schneir D., Bayerl J., Mizrahi O., Peles S., Tawil S., Sathe S., Nachshon A., Shani T., Zerbib M., Kilimnik I., Aigner S., Shankar A., Mueller J. R., Schwartz S., Stern-Ginossar N., Yeo G. W., Geula S., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
Genes and Development.
The N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification is the most prevalent post-transcriptional mRNA modification, regulating mRNA decay and splicing. It plays a major role during normal development, differentiation, and disease progression. The modification is regulated by a set of writer, eraser, and reader proteins. The YTH domain family of proteins, consists of three homologous m6A-binding proteins, Ythdf1, Ythdf2, and Ythdf3, which were suggested to have different cellular functions. However, their sequence similarity and their tendency to bind the same targets suggest that they may have overlapping roles. We systematically knocked out (KO) the Mettl3 writer, each of the Ythdf readers, and the three readers together (triple-KO). We then estimated the effect in vivo in mouse gametogenesis, postnatal viability, and in vitro in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). In gametogenesis, Mettl3-KO severity is increased as the deletion occurs earlier in the process, and Ythdf2 has a dominant role that cannot be compensated by Ythdf1 or Ythdf3, due to differences in readers' expression pattern across different cell types, both in quantity and in spatial location. Knocking out the three readers together and systematically testing viable offspring genotypes revealed a redundancy in the readers' role during early development that is Ythdf1/2/3 gene dosage-dependent. Finally, in mESCs there is compensation between the three Ythdf reader proteins, since the resistance to differentiate and the significant effect on mRNA decay occur only in the triple-KO cells and not in the single KOs. Thus, we suggest a new model for the Ythdf readers function, in which there is profound dosage-dependent redundancy when all three readers are equivalently coexpressed in the same cell types.
Zhang M., Lai Y., Krupalnik V., Guo P., Guo X., Zhou J., Xu Y., Yu Z., Liu L., Jiang A., Li W., Ma G., Li N., Fu X., Lv Y., Jiang M., Tariq M., Kanwal S., Liu H., Xu X., Zhang H., Huang Y., Wang L., Chen S., Babarinde I. A., Luo Z., Wang D., Zhou T., Ward C., He M., Ibanez D. P., Li Y., Zhou J., Yuan J., Feng Y., Arumugam K., Di Vicino U., Bao X., Wu G., Schambach A., Wang H., Sun H., Gao F., Qin B., Hutchins A. P., Doble B. W., Hartmann C., Cosma M. P., Qin Y., Xu G., Chen R., Volpe G., Chen L., Hanna J. H. & Esteban M. A.
Mouse embryonic stem cells cultured with MEK (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase) and GSK3 (glycogen synthase kinase 3) inhibitors (2i) more closely resemble the inner cell mass of preimplantation blastocysts than those cultured with SL [serum/leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)]. The transcriptional mechanisms governing this pluripotent ground state are unresolved. Release of promoter-proximal paused RNA polymerase II (Pol2) is a multistep process necessary for pluripotency and cell cycle gene transcription in SL. We show that B-catenin, stabilized by GSK3 inhibition in medium with 2i, supplies transcriptional coregulators at pluripotency loci. This selectively strengthens pluripotency loci and renders them addicted to transcription initiation for productive gene body elongation in detriment to Pol2 pause release. By contrast, cell cycle genes are not bound by beta-catenin, and proliferation/self-renewal remains tightly controlled by Pol2 pause release under 2i conditions. Our findings explain how pluripotency is reinforced in the ground state and also provide a general model for transcriptional resilience/adaptation upon network perturbation in other contexts.
Ha T. W., Jeong J. H., Shin H., Kim H. K., Im J. S., Song B. H., Hanna J., Oh J. S., Woo D., Han J. & Lee M. R.
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), have a well-orchestrated program for differentiation and self-renewal. However, the structural features of unique proteostatic-maintaining mechanisms in hPSCs and their features, distinct from those of differentiated cells, in response to cellular stress remain unclear. We evaluated and compared the morphological features and stress response of hPSCs and fibroblasts. Compared to fibroblasts, electron microscopy showed simpler/fewer structures with fewer networks in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of hPSCs, as well as lower expression of ER-related genes according to meta-analysis. As hPSCs contain low levels of binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP), an ER chaperone, thapsigargin treatment sharply increased the gene expression of the unfolded protein response. Thus, hPSCs with decreased chaperone function reacted sensitively to ER stress and entered apoptosis faster than fibroblasts. Such ER stress-induced apoptotic processes were abolished by tauroursodeoxycholic acid, an ER-stress reliever. Hence, our results revealed that as PSCs have an underdeveloped structure and express fewer BiP chaperone proteins than somatic cells, they are more susceptible to ER stress-induced apoptosis in response to stress.
Lasman L., Hanna J. H. & Novershtern N.
The rising field of RNA modifications is stimulating massive research nowadays. m(6)A, the most abundant mRNA modification is highly conserved during evolution. Through the last decade, the essential components of this dynamic mRNA modification machinery were found and classified into writer, eraser and reader proteins. m(6)A modification is now known to take part in diverse biological processes such as embryonic development, cell circadian rhythms and cancer stem cell proliferation. In addition, there is already firm evidence for the importance of m(6)A modification in stem cell differentiation and gametogenesis, both in males and females. This review attempts to summarize the important results of recent years studying the mechanism underlying stem cell differentiation and gametogenesis processes.
Das S., Koyano-Nakagawa N., Gafni O., Maeng G., Singh B. N., Rasmussen T., Pan X., Choi K., Mickelson D., Gong W., Pota P., Weaver C. V., Kren S., Hanna J. H., Yannopoulos D., Garry M. G. & Garry D. J.
The scarcity of donor organs may be addressed in the future by using pigs to grow humanized organs with lower potential for immunological rejection after transplantation in humans. Previous studies have demonstrated that interspecies complementation of rodent blastocysts lacking a developmental regulatory gene can generate xenogeneic pancreas and kidney(1,2). However, such organs contain host endothelium, a source of immune rejection. We used gene editing and somatic cell nuclear transfer to engineer porcine embryos deficient in ETV2, a master regulator of hematoendothelial lineages(3-7). ETV2-null pig embryos lacked hematoendothelial lineages and were embryonic lethal. Blastocyst complementation with wild-type porcine blastomeres generated viable chimeric embryos whose hematoendothelial cells were entirely donor-derived. ETV2-null blastocysts were injected with human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) or hiPSCs overexpressing the antiapoptotic factor BCL2, transferred to synchronized gilts and analyzed between embryonic day 17 and embryonic day 18. In these embryos, all endothelial cells were of human origin.Pig embryos with a human endothelium are generated through blastocyst complementation using human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Garcia-Campos M. A., Edelheit S., Toth U., Safra M., Shachar R., Viukov S., Winkler R., Nir R., Lasman L., Brandis A., Hanna J. H., Rossmanith W. & Schwartz S.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most abundant modification on mRNA and is implicated in critical roles in development, physiology, and disease. A major limitation has been the inability to quantify m6A stoichiometry and the lack of antibody-independent methodologies for interrogating m6A. Here, we develop MAZTER-seq for systematic quantitative profiling of m6A at single-nucleotide resolution at 16%-25% of expressed sites, building on differential cleavage by an RNase. MAZTER-seq permits validation and de novo discovery of m6A sites, calibration of the performance of antibody-based approaches, and quantitative tracking of m6A dynamics in yeast gametogenesis and mammalian differentiation. We discover that m6A stoichiometry is "hard coded" in cis via a simple and predictable code, accounting for 33%-46% of the variability in methylation levels and allowing accurate prediction of m6A loss and acquisition events across evolution. MAZTER-seq allows quantitative investigation of m6A regulation in subcellular fractions, diverse cell types, and disease states.
Lee H., Bao S., Qian Y., Geula S., Leslie J., Zhang C., Hanna J. H. & Ding L.
Nature Cell Biology.
Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) maintain balanced self-renewal and differentiation, but how these functions are precisely regulated is not fully understood. N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) messenger RNA methylation has emerged as an important mode of epitranscriptional gene expression regulation affecting many biological processes. We show that deletion of the m(6)A methyltransferase Mettl3 from the adult haematopoietic system led to an accumulation of HSCs in the bone marrow and a marked reduction of reconstitution potential due to a blockage of HSC differentiation. Interestingly, deleting Mettl3 from myeloid cells using Lysm-cre did not impact myeloid cell number or function. RNA sequencing revealed 2,073 genes with significant m(6)A modifications in HSCs. Myc was identified as a direct target of m(6)A in HSCs. Mettl3-deficient HSCs failed to upregulate MYC expression following stimulation to differentiate and enforced expression of Myc rescued differentiation defects of Mettl3-deficient HSCs. Our results reveal a key role of m(6)A in governing HSC differentiation.
Adashi E. Y., Cohen I. G., Hanna J. H., Surani A. M. & Hayashi K.
Trends in Molecular Medicine.
The implications of scientific breakthroughs are rarely faced up to in advance of their realization. Stem cell-derived human gametes, a disruptive technology in waiting, are likely to recapitulate this historic pattern absent active intervention. Herein we call for the conduct of thoughtful ante hoc deliberations on the prospect of stem cell-derived human gametes with an eye toward minimizing potential untoward post hoc regulatory or statutory impositions.
Zviran A., Mor N., Rais Y., Gingold H., Peles S., Chomsky E., Viukov S., Buenrostro J. D., Scognamiglio R., Weinberger L., Manor Y. S., Krupalnik V., Zerbib M., Hezroni H., Jaitin D. A., Larastiaso D., Gilad S., Benjamin S., Gafni O., Mousa A., Ayyash M., Sheban D., Bayerl J., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Massarwa R., Maza I., Hanna S., Stelzer Y., Ulitsky I., Greenleaf W. J., Tanay A., Trumpp A., Amit I., Pilpel Y., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
Cell Stem Cell.
The epigenetic dynamics of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming in correctly reprogrammed cells at high resolution and throughout the entire process remain largely undefined. Here, we characterize conversion of mouse fibroblasts into iPSCs using Gatad2a-Mbd3/NuRD-depleted and highly efficient reprogramming systems. Unbiased high-resolution profiling of dynamic changes in levels of gene expression, chromatin engagement, DNA accessibility, and DNA methylation were obtained. We identified two distinct and synergistic transcriptional modules that dominate successful reprogramming, which are associated with cell identity and biosynthetic genes. The pluripotency module is governed by dynamic alterations in epigenetic modifications to promoters and binding by Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4, but not Myc. Early DNA demethylation at certain enhancers prospectively marks cells fated to reprogram. Myc activity drives expression of the essential biosynthetic module and is associated with optimized changes in tRNA codon usage. Our functional validations highlight interweaved epigenetic- and Myc-governed essential reconfigurations that rapidly commission and propel deterministic reprogramming toward naive pluripotency.
Winkler R., Gillis E., Lasman L., Safra M., Geula S., Soyris C., Nachshon A., Tai-Schmiedel J., Friedman N., Le-Trilling V. T. K., Trilling M., Mandelboim M., Hanna J. H., Schwartz S. & Stern-Ginossar N.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most common mRNA modification. Recent studies have revealed that depletion of m6A machinery leads to alterations in the propagation of diverse viruses. These effects were proposed to be mediated through dysregulated methylation of viral RNA. Here we show that following viral infection or stimulation of cells with an inactivated virus, deletion of the m6A ‘writer’ METTL3 or ‘reader’ YTHDF2 led to an increase in the induction of interferon-stimulated genes. Consequently, propagation of different viruses was suppressed in an interferon-signaling-dependent manner. Significantly, the mRNA of IFNB, the gene encoding the main cytokine that drives the type I interferon response, was m6A modified and was stabilized following repression of METTL3 or YTHDF2. Furthermore, we show that m6A-mediated regulation of interferon cxgenes was conserved in mice. Together, our findings uncover the role m6A serves as a negative regulator of interferon response by dictating the fast turnover of interferon mRNAs and consequently facilitating viral propagation.
Dorn L. E., Lasman L., Chen J., Xu X., Hund T. J., Medvedovic M., Hanna J. H., van Berlo J. H. & Accornero F.
Background:N-6-Methyladenosine (m6A) methylation is the most prevalent internal posttranscriptional modification on mammalian mRNA. The role of m6A mRNA methylation in the heart is not known.Methods: To determine the role of m6A methylation in the heart, we isolated primary cardiomyocytes and performed m6A immunoprecipitation followed by RNA sequencing. We then generated genetic tools to modulate m6A levels in cardiomyocytes by manipulating the levels of the m6A RNA methylase methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) both in culture and in vivo. We generated cardiac-restricted gain- and loss-of-function mouse models to allow assessment of the METTL3-m6A pathway in cardiac homeostasis and function.Results: We measured the level of m6A methylation on cardiomyocyte mRNA, and found a significant increase in response to hypertrophic stimulation, suggesting a potential role for m6A methylation in the development of cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Analysis of m6A methylation showed significant enrichment in genes that regulate kinases and intracellular signaling pathways. Inhibition of METTL3 completely abrogated the ability of cardiomyocytes to undergo hypertrophy when stimulated to grow, whereas increased expression of the m6A RNA methylase METTL3 was sufficient to promote cardiomyocyte hypertrophy both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, cardiac-specific METTL3 knockout mice exhibit morphological and functional signs of heart failure with aging and stress, showing the necessity of RNA methylation for the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis.Conclusions: Our study identified METTL3-mediated methylation of mRNA on N-6-adenosines as a dynamic modification that is enhanced in response to hypertrophic stimuli and is necessary for a normal hypertrophic response in cardiomyocytes. Enhanced m6A RNA methylation results in compensated cardiac hypertrophy, whereas diminished m6A drives eccentric cardiomyocyte remodeling and dysfunction, highlighting the critical importance of this novel stress-response mechanism in the heart for maintaining normal cardiac function.
Mitsunaga S., Shioda K., Isselbacher K. J., Hanna J. H. & Shioda T.
Jove-Journal Of Visualized Experiments.
Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are common precursors of all germline cells. In mouse embryos, a founding population of similar to 40 PGCs are induced from pluripotent epiblast cells by orchestrated exposures to cytokines, including bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Bmp4). In human embryos, the earliest PGCs have been identified on the endodermal wall of yolk sac around the end of the 3rd week of gestation, but little is known about the process of human PGC specification and their early development. To circumvent the technical and ethical barriers of studying human embryonic PGCs, surrogate cell culture models have been recently generated from pluripotent stem cells. Here, we describe a 13-day protocol for robust production of human PGC-Like Cells (hPGCLCs). Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) maintained in the primed pluripotency state are incubated in the 4i naive reprogramming medium for 48 hours, dissociated to single cells, and packed into microwells. Prolonged maintenance of hiPSCs in the naive pluripotency state causes significant chromosomal aberrations and should be avoided. hiPSCs in the microwells are maintained for an additional 24 hours in the 4i medium to form embryoid bodies (EBs), which are then cultured in low-adherence plasticware under a rocking condition in the hPGCLC induction medium containing a high concentration of recombinant human BMP4. EBs are further cultured for up to 8 days in the rocking, non-adherent condition to obtain maximum yields of hPGCLCs. By immunohistochemistry, hPGCLCs are readily detected as cells strongly expressing OCT4 in almost all EBs exclusively on their surface. When EBs are enzymatically dissociated and subjected to FACS enrichment, hPGCLCs can be collected as CD38+ cells with up to 40-45% yield.
Bahat A., Goldman A., Zaltsman Y., Khan D. H., Halperin C., Amzallag E., Krupalnik V., Mullokandov M., Silberman A., Erez A., Schimmer A. D., Hanna J. H. & Gross A.
The role of mitochondria dynamics and its molecular regulators remains largely unknown during naive-to-primed pluripotent cell interconversion. Here we report that mitochondrial MTCH2 is a regulator of mitochondrial fusion, essential for the naive-to-primed interconversion of murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs). During this interconversion, wild-type ESCs elongate their mitochondria and slightly alter their glutamine utilization. In contrast, MTCH2(-/-) ESCs fail to elongate their mitochondria and to alter their metabolism, maintaining high levels of histone acetylation and expression of naive pluripotency markers. Importantly, enforced mitochondria elongation by the pro-fusion protein Mitofusin (MFN) 2 or by a dominant negative form of the pro-fission protein dynamin-related protein (DRP) 1 is sufficient to drive the exit from naive pluripotency of both MTCH2(-/-) and wild-type ESCs. Taken together, our data indicate that mitochondria elongation, governed by MTCH2, plays a critical role and constitutes an early driving force in the naive-to-primed pluripotency interconversion of murine ESCs.
Mor N., Rais Y., Sheban D., Peles S., Aguilera-Castrejon A., Zviran A., Elinger D., Viukov S., Geula S., Krupalnik V., Zerbib M., Chomsky E., Lasman L., Shani T., Bayerl J., Gafni O., Hanna S., Buenrostro J. D., Hagai T., Masika H., Vainorius G., Bergman Y., Greenleaf W. J., Esteban M. A., Elling U., Levin Y., Massarwa R., Merbl Y., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
Cell Stem Cell.
Mbd3, a member of nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) co-repressor complex, was previously identified as an inhibitor for deterministic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming, where up to 100% of donor cells successfully complete the process. NuRD can assume multiple mutually exclusive conformations, and it remains unclear whether this deterministic phenotype can be attributed to a specific Mbd3/NuRD subcomplex. Moreover, since complete ablation of Mbd3 blocks somatic cell proliferation, we aimed to explore functionally relevant alternative ways to neutralize Mbd3-dependent NuRD activity. We identify Gatad2a, a NuRD-specific subunit, whose complete deletion specifically disrupts Mbd3/NuRD repressive activity on the pluripotency circuitry during iPSC differentiation and reprogramming without ablating somatic cell proliferation. Inhibition of Gatad2a facilitates deterministic murine iPSC reprogramming within 8 days. We validate a distinct molecular axis, Gatad2a-Chd4-Mbd3, within Mbd3/NuRD as being critical for blocking reestablishment of naive pluripotency and further highlight signaling-dependent and post-translational modifications of Mbd3/NuRD that influence its interactions and assembly. Optimized partial depletion of Mbd3 had been implicated in deterministic reprogramming. Hanna and colleagues now dissect the subcomplex within Mbd3/NuRD that underlies this outcome. Gatad2a is identified as a flexible component that can be entirely ablated without compromising somatic cell proliferation and yet still similarly yields deterministic mouse iPSC formation.
Engel M., Eggert C., Kaplick P. M., Eder M., Roeh S., Tietze L., Namendorf C., Arloth J., Weber P., Rex-Haffner M., Geula S., Jakovcevski M., Hanna J. H., Leshkowitz D., Uhr M., Wotjak C. T., Schmidt M. V., Deussing J. M., Binder E. B. & Chen A.
N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) and N-6,2'-O-dimethyladenosine (m(6)Am) are abundant mRNA modifications that regulate transcript processing and translation. The role of both, here termed m(6)A/m, in the stress response in the adult brain in vivo is currently unknown. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of the stress epitranscriptome using m(6)A/m-seq, global and gene-specific m(6)A/m measurements. We show that stress exposure and glucocorticoids region and time specifically alter m(6)A/m and its regulatory network. We demonstrate that deletion of the methyltransferase Mettl3 or the demethylase Fto in adult neurons alters the m(6)A/m epitranscriptome, increases fear memory, and changes the transcriptome response to fear and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we report that regulation of m(6)A/m is impaired in major depressive disorder patients following glucocorticoid stimulation. Our findings indicate that brain m(6)A/m represents a novel layer of complexity in gene expression regulation after stress and that dysregulation of the m(6)A/m response may contribute to the pathophysiology of stressrelated psychiatric disorders.
Lipsitz Y. Y., Woodford C., Yin T., Hanna J. H. & Zandstra P. W.
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America-Biological Sciences.
The development of cell-based therapies to replace missing or damaged tissues within the body or generate cells with a unique biological activity requires a reliable and accessible source of cells. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) have emerged as a strong candidate cell source capable of extended propagation in vitro and differentiation to clinically relevant cell types. However, the application of hPSC in cell-based therapies requires overcoming yield limitations in large-scale hPSC manufacturing. We explored methods to convert hPSC to alternative states of pluripotency with advantageous bioprocessing properties, identifying a suspension-based small-molecule and cytokine combination that supports increased single-cell survival efficiency, faster growth rates, higher densities, and greater expansion than control hPSC cultures. ERK inhibition was found to be essential for conversion to this altered state, but once converted, ERK inhibition led to a loss of pluripotent phenotype in suspension. The resulting suspension medium formulation enabled hPSC suspension yields 5.7 +/- 0.2-fold greater than conventional hPSC in 6 d, for at least five passages. Treated cells remained pluripotent, karyotypically normal, and capable of differentiating into all germ layers. Treated cells could also be integrated into directed differentiated strategies as demonstrated by the generation of pancreatic progenitors (NKX6.1+/PDX1+ cells). Enhanced suspension-yield hPSC displayed higher oxidative metabolism and altered expression of adhesion-related genes. The enhanced bioprocess properties of this alternative pluripotent state provide a strategy to overcome cell manufacturing limitations of hPSC.
Gamliel M., Goldman-Wohl D., Isaacson B., Gur C., Stein N., Yamin R., Berger M., Grunewald M., Keshet E., Rais Y., Bornstein C., David E., Jelinski A., Eisenberg I., Greenfield C., Ben-David A., Imbar T., Gilad R., Haimov-Kochman R., Mankuta D., Elami-Suzin M., Amit I., Hanna J. H., Yagel S. & Mandelboim O.
Natural killer cells (NKs) are abundant in the human decidua, regulating trophoblast invasion and angiogenesis. Several diseases of poor placental development are associated with first pregnancies, so we thus looked to characterize differences in decidual NKs (dNKs) in first versus repeated pregnancies. We discovered a population found in repeated pregnancies, which has a unique transcriptome and epigenetic signature, and is characterized by high expression of the receptors NKG2C and LILRB1. We named these cells Pregnancy Trained decidual NK cells (PTdNKs). PTdNKs have open chromatin around the enhancers of IFNG and VEGFA. Activation of PTdNKs led to increased production and secretion of IFN-gamma and VEGF alpha, with the latter supporting vascular sprouting and tumor growth. The precursors of PTdNKs seem to be found in the endometrium. Because repeated pregnancies are associated with improved placentation, we propose that PTdNKs, which are present primarily in repeated pregnancies, might be involved in proper placentation.
Altshuler A., Verbuk M., Bhattacharya S., Abramovich I., Haklai R., Hanna J. H., Kloog Y., Gottlieb E. & Shalom-Feuerstein R.
Stem Cell Reports.
The transition from naive to primed state of pluripotent stem cells is hallmarked by epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metabolic switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis, and changes in the epigenetic landscape. Since these changes are also seen as putative hallmarks of neoplastic cell transformation, we hypothesized that oncogenic pathways may be involved in this process. We report that the activity of RAS is repressed in the naive state of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and that all three RAS isoforms are significantly activated upon early differentiation induced by LIF withdrawal, embryoid body formation, or transition to the primed state. Forced expression of active RAS and RAS inhibition have shown that RAS regulates glycolysis, CADHERIN expression, and the expression of repressive epigenetic marks in pluripotent stem cells. Altogether, this study indicates that RAS is located at a key junction of early ESC differentiation controlling key processes in priming of naive cells.
Karzbrun E., Kshirsagar A., Cohen S. R., Hanna J. H. & Reiner O.
Human brain wrinkling has been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders and yet its origins remain unknown. Polymer gel models suggest that wrinkling emerges spontaneously due to compression forces arising during differential swelling, but these ideas have not been tested in a living system. Here, we report the appearance of surface wrinkles during the in vitro development and self-organization of human brain organoids in a microfabricated compartment that supports in situ imaging over a timescale of weeks. We observe the emergence of convolutions at a critical cell density and maximal nuclear strain, which are indicative of a mechanical instability. We identify two opposing forces contributing to differential growth: cytoskeletal contraction at the organoid core and cell-cycle-dependent nuclear expansion at the organoid perimeter. The wrinkling wavelength exhibits linear scaling with tissue thickness, consistent with balanced bending and stretching energies. Lissencephalic (smooth brain) organoids display reduced convolutions, modified scaling and a reduced elastic modulus. Although the mechanism here does not include the neuronal migration seen in vivo, it models the physics of the folding brain remarkably well. Our on-chip approach offers a means for studying the emergent properties of organoid development, with implications for the embryonic human brain.
Glasner A., Levi A., Enk J., Isaacson B., Viukov S., Orlanski S., Scope A., Neuman T., Enk C. D., Hanna J. H., Sexl V., Jonjic S., Seliger B., Zitvogel L. & Mandelboim O.
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphoid cells, and their presence within human tumors correlates with better prognosis. However, the mechanisms by which NK cells control tumors in vivo are unclear. Here, we used reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) imaging in humans and in mice to visualize tumor architecture in vivo. We demonstrated that signaling via the NK cell receptor NKp46 (human) and Ncr1 (mouse) induced interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) secretion from intratumoral NK cells. NKp46-and Ncr1-mediated IFN-gamma production led to the increased expression of the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin 1 (FN1) in the tumors, which altered primary tumor architecture and resulted in decreased metastases formation. Injection of IFN-gamma into tumor-bearing mice or transgenic overexpression of Ncr1 in NK cells in mice resulted in decreased metastasis formation. Thus, we have defined a mechanism of NK cell-mediated control of metastases in vivo that may help develop NK cell-dependent cancer therapies.
Mitsunaga S., Odajima J., Yawata S., Shioda K., Owa C., Isselbacher K. J., Shioda T. & Hanna J. (.
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America-Physical Sciences.
Pluripotent stem cell-derived human primordial germ cell-like cells (hPGCLCs) provide important opportunities to study primordial germ cells (PGCs). We robustly produced CD38(+) hPGCLCs [similar to 43% of FACS-sorted embryoid body (EB) cells] from primed-state induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) after a 72-hour transient incubation in the four chemical inhibitors (4i)-naive reprogramming medium and showed transcriptional consistency of our hPGCLCs with hPGCLCs generated in previous studies using various and distinct protocols. Both CD38(+) hPGCLCs and CD38(-) EB cells significantly expressed PRDM1 and TFAP2C, although PRDM1 mRNA in CD38(-) cells lacked the 3'-UTR harboring miRNA binding sites regulating mRNA stability. Genes up-regulated in hPGCLCs were enriched for cell migration genes, and their promoters were enriched for the binding motifs of TFAP2 (which was identified in promoters of T, NANOS3, and SOX17) and the RREB-1 cell adhesion regulator. In EBs, hPGCLCs were identified exclusively in the outermost surface monolayer as dispersed cells or cell aggregates with strong and specific expression of POU5F1/OCT4 protein. Time-lapse live cell imaging revealed active migration of hPGCLCs on Matrigel. Whereas all hPGCLCs strongly expressed the CXCR4 chemotaxis receptor, its ligand CXCL12/SDF1 was not significantly expressed in the whole EBs. Exposure of hPGCLCs to CXCL12/SDF1 induced cell migration genes and antiapoptosis genes. Thus, our study shows that transcriptionally consistent hPGCLCs can be readily produced from hiPSCs after transition of their pluripotency from the primed state using various methods and that hPGCLCs resemble the early-stage PGCs randomly migrating in the midline region of human embryos before initiation of the CXCL12/SDF1-guided chemotaxis.
Sheinboim D., Maza I., Dror I., Parikh S., Krupalnik V., Bell R. E., Zviran A., Suita Y., Hakim O., Mandel-Gutfreund Y., Khaled M., Hanna J. H. & Levy C.
Ectopic expression of lineage master regulators induces transdifferentiation. Whether cell fate transitions can be induced during various developmental stages has not been systemically examined. Here we discover that amongst different developmental stages, mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are resistant to cell fate conversion induced by the melanocyte lineage master regulator MITF. By generating a transgenic system we exhibit that in mESCs, the pluripotency master regulator Oct4, counteracts pro-differentiation induced by Mitf by physical interference with MITF transcriptional activity. We further demonstrate that mESCs must be released from Oct4-maintained pluripotency prior to ectopically induced differentiation. Moreover, Oct4 induction in various differentiated cells represses their lineage identity in vivo. Alongside, chromatin architecture combined with ChIP-seq analysis suggest that Oct4 competes with various lineage master regulators for binding promoters and enhancers. Our analysis reveals pluripotency and transdifferentiation regulatory principles and could open new opportunities in the field of regenerative medicine.
Glasner A., Isaacson B., Viukov S., Neuman T., Friedman N., Mandelboim M., Sexl V., Hanna J. H. & Mandelboim O.
Natural Killer (NK) cells employ activating receptors like the Natural Cytotoxicity Receptors (NCRs: NKp30, NKp44 and NKp46), of which only NKp46 has a mouse orthologue (Ncr1), to eliminate abnormal cells. NKp46/Ncr1 is considered a selective marker for NK cells, although it is also found on a subset of ILCs, where it appears to be without function. The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) was the first ligand identified for Ncr1/NKp46 followed by other viral, bacterial and even fungal ligands. NKp46/Ncr1 also recognizes unknown self and tumor ligands. Here we describe the generation of a transgenic mouse where the Ncr1 gene is expressed in the Rosa locus, preceded by a floxed stop sequence allowing Ncr1/NKp46 expression in various tissues upon crossing with Cre transgenic mouse lines. Surprisingly, while several crossings were attempted, Ncr1 overexpression was successful only where cre recombinase expression was dependent on the Ncr1 promoter. Ncr1 overexpression in NK cells increased NK cell immunity in two hallmark Ncr1 related pathologies, influenza virus infection and B16 melanoma. These data suggest that increasing NK cell cytotoxicity by enforced NKp46/Ncr1 expression serves as a potential therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of various pathologies, and in immunotherapy.
Plotnikov A., Kozer N., Krupalnik V., Peles S., Mor N., Rais Y., Hanna J. H. & Barr H. M.
Stem Cell Research.
Measurement of Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) level is a widely used procedure in clinical and basic research. We present a simple and inexpensive luminescence-based method that allows multiplexed measurement and normalization of intracellular ALP levels in one sample well. The method comprises two commercially available reagents enabling quantification of ALP levels and cell number by two sequential luminescence readouts. Using this method we were able to detect and analyze somatic reprogramming into pluripotent stem cells. The method is highly applicable for High Throughput Screening (HTS) campaigns and analysis. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Ke S., Pandya-Jones A., Saito Y., Fak J. J., Vagbo C. B., Geula S., Hanna J. H., Black D. L., Darnell J. E. & Darnell R. B.
GENES & DEVELOPMENT.
Understanding the biologic role of N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) RNA modifications in mRNA requires an understanding of when and where in the life of a pre-mRNA transcript the modifications are made. We found that HeLa cell chromatin-associated nascent pre-mRNA (CA-RNA) contains many unspliced introns and m(6)A in exons but very rarely in introns. The m(6)A methylation is essentially completed upon the release of mRNA into the nucleoplasm. Furthermore, the content and location of each m(6)A modification in steady-state cytoplasmic mRNA are largely indistinguishable from those in the newly synthesized CA-RNA or nucleoplasmic mRNA. This result suggests that quantitatively little methylation or demethylation occurs in cytoplasmic mRNA. In addition, only similar to 10% of m(6)As in CA-RNA are within 50 nucleotides of 5' or 3' splice sites, and the vast majority of exons harboring m(6)A in wild-type mouse stem cells is spliced the same in cells lacking the major m(6)A methyltransferase Mettl3. Both HeLa and mouse embryonic stem cell mRNAs harboring m(6)As have shorter half-lives, and thousands of these mRNAs have increased half-lives (twofold or more) in Mettl3 knockout cells compared with wild type. In summary, m(6)A is added to exons before or soon after exon definition in nascent pre-mRNA, and while m(6)A is not required for most splicing, its addition in the nascent transcript is a determinant of cytoplasmic mRNA stability.
Herzig Y., Nevo S., Bornstein C., Brezis M. R., Ben-Hur S., Shkedy A., Eisenberg-Bord M., Levi B., Delacher M., Goldfarb Y., David E., Weinberger L., Viukov S., Ben-Dor S., Giraud M., Hanna J. H., Breiling A., Lyko F., Amit I., Feuerer M. & Abramson J.
Aire is a transcriptional regulator that induces promiscuous expression of thousands of genes encoding tissue-restricted antigens (TRAs) in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs). While the target genes of Aire are well characterized, the transcriptional programs that regulate its own expression have remained elusive. Here we comprehensively analyzed both cis-acting and trans-acting regulatory mechanisms and found that the Aire locus was insulated by the global chromatin organizer CTCF and was hypermethylated in cells and tissues that did not express Aire. In mTECs, however, Aire expression was facilitated by concurrent eviction of CTCF, specific demethylation of exon 2 and the proximal promoter, and the coordinated action of several transcription activators, including Irf4, Irf8, Tbx21, Tcf7 and Ctcfl, which acted on mTEC-specific accessible regions in the Aire locus.
Weiner A., Lara Astiaso A. D., Krupalnik V., Gafni O., David E., Winter D. R., Hanna J. H. & Amit I.
Histone modifications play an important role in chromatin organization and transcriptional regulation, but despite the large amount of genome-wide histone modification data collected in different cells and tissues, little is known about co-occurrence of modifications on the same nucleosome. Here we present a genome-wide quantitative method for combinatorial indexed chromatin immunoprecipitation (co-ChIP) to characterize co-occurrence of histone modifications on nucleosomes. Using co-ChIP, we study the genome-wide co-occurrence of 14 chromatin marks (70 pairwise combinations), and find previously undescribed co-occurrence patterns, including the co-occurrence of H3K9me1 and H3K27ac in super-enhancers. Finally, we apply co-ChIP to measure the distribution of the bivalent H3K4me3-H3K27me3 domains in two distinct mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) states and in four adult tissues. We observe dynamic changes in 5,786 regions and discover both loss and de novo gain of bivalency in key tissue-specific regulatory genes, suggesting a functional role for bivalent domains during different stages of development. These results show that co-ChIP can reveal the complex interactions between histone modifications.
Dhar S. S., Lee S., Chen K., Zhu G., Oh W., Allton K., Gafni O., Kim Y. Z., Tomoiga A. S., Barton M. C., Hanna J. H., Wang Z., Li W. & Lee M. G.
Nucleic Acids Research.
Trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is linked to gene silencing, whereas H3K4me3 is associated with gene activation. These two marks frequently co-occupy gene promoters, forming bivalent domains. Bivalency signifies repressed but activatable states of gene expression and can be resolved to active, H3K4me3-prevalent states during multiple cellular processes, including differentiation, development and epithelial mesenchymal transition. However, the molecular mechanism underlying bivalency resolution remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the H3K27 demethylase UTX (also called KDM6A) is required for the resolution and activation of numerous retinoic acid (RA)-inducible bivalent genes during the RA-driven differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Notably, UTX loss in mouse ESCs inhibited the RA-driven bivalency resolution and activation of most developmentally critical homeobox (Hox) a-d genes. The UTX-mediated resolution and activation of many bivalent Hox genes during mouse ESC differentiation were recapitulated during RA-driven differentiation of human NT2/D1 embryonal carcinoma cells. In support of the importance of UTX in bivalency resolution, Utx-null mouse ESCs and UTX-depleted NT2/D1 cells displayed defects in RA-driven cellular differentiation. Our results define UTX as a bivalency-resolving histone modifier necessary for stem cell differentiation.
De Los Angeles A., Ferrari F., Fujiwara Y., Mathieu R., Lee S., Lee S., Tu H., Ross S., Chou S., Minh Nguyen, Wu Z., Theunissen T. W., Powell B. E., Imsoonthornruksa S., Chen J., Borkent M., Krupalnik V., Lujan E., Wernig M., Hanna J. H., Hochedlinger K., Pei D., Jaenisch R., Deng H., Orkin S. H., Park P. J. & Daley G. Q.
During extensive revisions of this BCA, we inadvertently omitted a citation by Takaho A. Endo that used variant calls from RNA-seq data to conclude that the purported Fgf4-induced stem cells (FI-SCs) described in Obokata et al.1 constituted a mixture of trophoblastic and embryonic stem cells2. Our analysis, performed independently, reached similar conclusions. We regret this oversight.
Weinberger L., Ayyash M., Novershtern N. & Hanna J.
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.
The molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways that regulate the in vitro preservation of distinct pluripotent stem cell configurations, and their induction in somatic cells by direct reprogramming, constitute a highly exciting area of research. In this Review, we integrate recent discoveries related to isolating unique naive and primed pluripotent stem cell states with altered functional and molecular characteristics, and from different species. We provide an overview of the pathways underlying pluripotent state transitions and interconversion in vitro and in vivo. We conclude by highlighting unresolved key questions, future directions and potential novel applications of such dynamic pluripotent cell states.
Chen J., Shishkin A. A., Zhu X., Kadri S., Maza I., Guttman M., Hanna J. H., Regev A. & Garber M.
Background: Recent advances in transcriptome sequencing have enabled the discovery of thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) across many species. Though several lncRNAs have been shown to play important roles in diverse biological processes, the functions and mechanisms of most lncRNAs remain unknown. Two significant obstacles lie between transcriptome sequencing and functional characterization of lncRNAs: identifying truly non-coding genes from de novo reconstructed transcriptomes, and prioritizing the hundreds of resulting putative lncRNAs for downstream experimental interrogation. Results: We present slncky, a lncRNA discovery tool that produces a high-quality set of lncRNAs from RNA-sequencing data and further uses evolutionary constraint to prioritize lncRNAs that are likely to be functionally important. Our automated filtering pipeline is comparable to manual curation efforts and more sensitive than previously published computational approaches. Furthermore, we developed a sensitive alignment pipeline for aligning lncRNA loci and propose new evolutionary metrics relevant for analyzing sequence and transcript evolution. Our analysis reveals that evolutionary selection acts in several distinct patterns, and uncovers two notable classes of intergenic lncRNAs: one showing strong purifying selection on RNA sequence and another where constraint is restricted to the regulation but not the sequence of the transcript. Conclusion: Our results highlight that lncRNAs are not a homogenous class of molecules but rather a mixture of multiple functional classes with distinct biological mechanism and/or roles. Our novel comparative methods for lncRNAs reveals 233 constrained lncRNAs out of tens of thousands of currently annotated transcripts, which we make available through the slncky Evolution Browser.
De Los Angeles L. A. A., Ferrari F., Fujiwara Y., Mathieu R., Lee S., Lee S., Tu H., Ross S., Chou S., Nguyen M., Wu Z., Theunissen T. W., Powell B. E., Imsoonthornruksa S., Chen J., Borkent M., Krupalnik V., Lujan E., Wernig M., Hanna J. H., Hochedlinger K., Pei D., Jaenisch R., Deng H., Orkin S. H., Park P. J. & Daley G. Q.
Maza I., Caspi I., Zviran A., Chomsky E., Rais Y., Viukov S., Geula S., Buenrostro J., Weinberger L., Krupalnik V., Hanna S., Zerbib M., Dutton J., Greenleaf W., Massarwa R., Novershtern N. & Hanna J.
Somatic cells can be transdifferentiated to other cell types without passing through a pluripotent state by ectopic expression of appropriate transcription factors(1,2). Recent reports have proposed an alternative transdifferentiation method in which fibroblasts are directly converted to various mature somatic cell types by brief expression of the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming factors Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc (OSKM) followed by cell expansion in media that promote lineage differentiation(3-6). Here we test this method using genetic lineage tracing for expression of endogenous Nanog and Oct4 and for X chromosome reactivation, as these events mark acquisition of pluripotency. We show that the vast majority of reprogrammed cardiomyocytes or neural stem cells obtained from mouse fibroblasts by OSKM-induced 'transdifferentiation' pass through a transient pluripotent state, and that their derivation is molecularly coupled to iPSC formation mechanisms. Our findings underscore the importance of defining trajectories during cell reprogramming by various methods.
Nicenboim J., Malkinson G., Lupo T., Asaf L., Sela Y., Mayseless O., Gibbs-Bar L., Senderovich N., Hashimshony T., Shin M. S., Jerafi-Vider A., Avraham-Davidi I., Krupalnik V., Hofi R., Almog G., Astin J. W., Golani O., Ben-Dor S., Crosier P. S., Herzog W., Lawson N. D., Hanna J. H., Yanai I. & Yaniv K.
How cells acquire their fate is a fundamental question in developmental and regenerative biology. Multipotent progenitors undergo cell-fate restriction in response to cues from the microenvironment, the nature of which is poorly understood. In the case of the lymphatic system, venous cells from the cardinal vein are thought to generate lymphatic vessels through trans-differentiation. Here we show that in zebrafish, lymphatic progenitors arise from a previously uncharacterized niche of specialized angioblasts within the cardinal vein, which also generates arterial and venous fates. We further identify Wnt5b as a novel lymphatic inductive signal and show that it also promotes the 'angioblast-to-lymphatic' transition in human embryonic stem cells, suggesting that this process is evolutionarily conserved. Our results uncover a novel mechanism of lymphatic specification, and provide the first characterization of the lymphatic inductive niche. More broadly, our findings highlight the cardinal vein as a heterogeneous structure, analogous to the haematopoietic niche in the aortic floor.
Geula S., Moshitch-Moshkovitz S., Dominissini D., Mansour A. A., Kol N., Salmon-Divon M., Hershkovitz V., Peer E., Mor N., Manor Y. S., Ben-Haim M., Eyal E., Yunger S., Pinto Y., Jaitin D. A., Viukov S., Rais Y., Krupalnik V., Chomsky E., Zerbib M., Maza I., Rechavi Y., Massarwa R., Hanna S., Amit I., Levanon E. Y., Amariglio N., Stern-Ginossar N., Novershtern N., Rechavi G. & Hanna J. H.
Naive and primed pluripotent states retain distinct molecular properties, yet limited knowledge exists on how their state transitions are regulated. Here, we identify Mettl3, an N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) transferase, as a regulator for terminating murine naive pluripotency. Mettl3 knockout preimplantation epiblasts and naive embryonic stem cells are depleted for m(6)A in mRNAs, yet are viable. However, they fail to adequately terminate their naive state and, subsequently, undergo aberrant and restricted lineage priming at the postimplantation stage, which leads to early embryonic lethality. m(6)A predominantly and directly reduces mRNA stability, including that of key naive pluripotency-promoting transcripts. This study highlights a critical role for an mRNA epigenetic modification in vivo and identifies regulatory modules that functionally influence naive and primed pluripotency in an opposing manner.
Specification of primordial germ cells (PGCs) marks the beginning of the totipotent state. However, without a tractable experimental model, the mechanism of human PGC (hPGC) specification remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate specification of hPGC-like cells (hPGCLCs) from germline competent pluripotent stem cells. The characteristics of hPGCLCs are consistent with the embryonic hPGCs and a germline seminoma that share a CD38 cell-surface marker, which collectively defines likely progression of the early human germline. Remarkably, SOX17 is the key regulator of hPGC-like fate, whereas BLIMP1 represses endodermal and other somatic genes during specification of hPGCLCs. Notable mechanistic differences between mouse and human PGC specification could be attributed to their divergent embryonic development and pluripotent states, which might affect other early cell-fate decisions. We have established a foundation for future studies on resetting of the epigenome in hPGCLCs and hPGCs for totipotency and the transmission of genetic and epigenetic information.
Liu P., Kaplan A., Yuan B., Hanna J. H., Lupski J. R. & Reiner O.
Emergence of genomic instability is a practical issue in preparing neural stem cells (NSCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). However, it is still not fully understood what the origins and mechanisms for formation are for the genomic alternations observed. Here, we studied the extent of genomic variation on the scale of individual cells originating from the same animal. We used mouse NSCs grown from embryonic cells and iPSCs generated from embryonic brain cells, B cells or fibroblasts, and performed comparative analysis with cultures of fibroblasts from the same mouse. In the first passage of these cell lines, aneuploidies were only observed for chromosomes 6, 11, 12, 19, and Y, which is overall at a rate lower than previously reported; de novo copy number variations (CNVs) were observed in 4.3% of neural iPSCs, 29% of B cell iPSCs, 10% of fibroblast iPSCs, and 1.3% of neurospheres. In contrast, propagation of these first passage cells to a later passage induced additional aneuploidies and CNVs. Breakpoint sequencing analysis suggested that the majority of the detected CNVs arose by replicative mechanisms. Interestingly, we detected identical de novo CNVs in different single cell colonies that appeared to have arisen independently from each other, which suggests a novel CNV formation mechanism in these cells. Our findings provide insights into mechanisms of CNV formation during reprogramming and suggest that replicative mechanisms for CNV formation accompany mitotic divisions.
STEM CELLS The quest for the perfect reprogrammed cell
Krupalnik V. & Hanna J. H.
Gafni O., Weinberger L., Mansour A. A., Manor Y. S., Chomsky E., Ben-Yosef D., Kalma Y., Viukov S., Maza I., Zviran A., Rais Y., Shipony Z., Mukamel Z., Krupalnik V., Zerbib M., Geula S., Caspi I., Schneir D., Shwartz T., Gilad S., Amann Zalcenstein D., Benjamin S., Amit I., Tanay A., Massarwa R., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. (.
Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and can be preserved in vitro in a naive inner-cell-mass-like configuration by providing exogenous stimulation with leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and small molecule inhibition of ERK1/ERK2 and GSK3 beta signalling (termed 2i/LIF conditions)(1,2). Hallmarks of naive pluripotency include driving Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1) transcription by its distal enhancer, retaining a pre-inactivation Xchromosome state, and global reduction in DNA methylation and in H3K27me3 repressive chromatin mark deposition on developmental regulatory gene promoters(3). Upon withdrawal of 2i/LIF, naive mouse ES cells can drift towards a primed pluripotent state resembling that of the post-implantation epiblast(4). Although human ES cells share several molecular features with naive mouse ES cells(5), they also share a variety of epigenetic properties with primed murine epiblast stemcells (EpiSCs)(6,7). These include predominant use of the proximal enhancer element to maintain OCT4 expression, pronounced tendency for X chromosome inactivation in most female human ES cells, increase in DNA methylation and prominent deposition of H3K27me3 and bivalent domain acquisition on lineage regulatory genes(7). The feasibility of establishing human ground state naive pluripotency in vitro with equivalent molecular and functional features to those characterized in mouse ES cells remains to be defined(1). Here we establish defined conditions that facilitate the derivation of genetically unmodified human naive pluripotent stem cells from already established primed human ES cells, from somatic cells through induced pluripotent stem(iPS) cell reprogramming or directly from blastocysts. The novel naive pluripotent cells validated herein retain molecular characteristics and functional properties that are highly similar to mouse naive ES cells, and distinct from conventional primed human pluripotent cells. This includes com
Rais Y., Zviran A., Geula S., Gafni O., Chomsky E., Viukov S., Mansour A. A., Caspi I., Krupalnik V., Zerbib M., Maza I., Mor N., Baran D., Weinberger L., Jaitin D. A., Lara Astiaso A. D., Blecher-Gonen R., Shipony Z., Mukamel Z., Hagai T., Gilad S., Amann Zalcenstein D., Tanay A., Amit I., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. (.
Somatic cells can be inefficiently and stochastically reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem(iPS) cells by exogenous expression of Oct4 (also called Pou5f1), Sox2, Klf4 and Myc (hereafter referred to as OSKM). The nature of the predominant rate-limiting barrier(s) preventing the majority of cells to successfully and synchronously reprogram remains to be defined. Here we show that depleting Mbd3, a core member of the Mbd3/NuRD (nucleosome remodelling and deacetylation) repressor complex, together with OSKM transduction and reprogramming in naive pluripotency promoting conditions, result in deterministic and synchronized iPS cell reprogramming (near 100% efficiency within seven days from mouse and human cells). Our findings uncover a dichotomous molecular function for the reprogramming factors, serving to reactivate endogenous pluripotency networks while simultaneously directly recruiting the Mbd3/NuRD repressor complex that potently restrains the reactivation of OSKM downstream target genes. Subsequently, the latter interactions, which are largely depleted during early pre-implantation development in vivo, lead to a stochastic and protracted reprogramming trajectory towards pluripotency in vitro. The deterministic reprogramming approach devised here offers a novel platform for the dissection of molecular dynamics leading to establishing pluripotency at unprecedented flexibility and resolution.
Gur C., Enk J., Weitman E., Bachar E., Suissa Y., Cohen G., Schyr R. B., Sabanay H., Horwitz E., Glaser B., Dor Y., Pribluda A., Hanna J. H., Leibowitz G. & Mandelboim O.
NK cells rapidly kill tumor cells, virus infected cells and even self cells. This is mediated via killer receptors, among which NKp46 (NCR1 in mice) is prominent. We have recently demonstrated that in type 1 diabetes (T1D) NK cells accumulate in the diseased pancreas and that they manifest a hyporesponsive phenotype. In addition, we found that NKp46 recognizes an unknown ligand expressed by beta cells derived from humans and mice and that blocking of NKp46 activity prevented diabetes development. Here we investigated the properties of the unknown NKp46 ligand. We show that the NKp46 ligand is mainly located in insulin granules and that it is constitutively secreted. Following glucose stimulation the NKp46 ligand translocates to the cell membrane and its secretion decreases. We further demonstrate by using several modalities that the unknown NKp46 ligand is not insulin. Finally, we studied the expression of the NKp46 ligand in type 2 diabetes (T2D) using 3 different in vivo models and 2 species; mice and gerbils. We demonstrate that the expression of the NKp46 ligand is decreased in all models of T2D studied, suggesting that NKp46 is not involved in T2D.
Mansour A. A. & Hanna J. H.
The transcription factor Oct4 plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the embryonic pluripotent state, but can also regulate early lineage commitment. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Aksoy et al (2013) lend critical mechanistic insights into the ability of Oct4 to regulate and specify the primitive endodermal lineage. These regulatory actions are governed by alternative direct partnering of Oct4 with Sox17, instead of Sox2, that leads to global reprogramming of enhancer occupancy by Oct4 during primitive endoderm differentiation.
Farago M., Rosenbluh C., Tevlin M., Fraenkel S., Schlesinger S., Masika H., Gouzman M., Teng G., Schatz D., Rais Y., Hanna J. H., Mildner A., Jung S., Mostoslavsky G., Cedar H. & Bergman Y.
Although most genes are expressed biallelically, a number of key genomic sites-including immune and olfactory receptor regions-are controlled monoallelically in a stochastic manner, with some cells expressing the maternal allele and others the paternal allele in the target tissue(1,2). Very little is known about how this phenomenon is regulated and programmed during development. Here, using mouse immunoglobulin-kappa (Ig kappa) as a model system, we demonstrate that although individual haematopoietic stem cells are characterized by allelic plasticity, early lymphoid lineage cells become committed to the choice of a single allele, and this decision is then stably maintained in a clonal manner that predetermines monoallelic rearrangement in B cells. This is accompanied at the molecular level by underlying allelic changes in asynchronous replication timing patterns at the kappa locus. These experiments may serve to define a new concept of stem cell plasticity.
Mansour A. A., Gafni O., Weinberger L., Zviran A., Ayyash M., Rais Y., Krupalnik V., Zerbib M., Amann Zalcenstein D., Maza I., Geula S., Viukov S., Holtzman L., Pribluda A., Canaani E., Horn-Saban S., Amit I., Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be derived from somatic cells by ectopic expression of different transcription factors, classically Oct4 (also known as Pou5f1), Sox2, Klf4 and Myc (abbreviated as OSKM)(1). This process is accompanied by genome-wide epigenetic changes(2-5), but how these chromatin modifications are biochemically determined requires further investigation. Here we show in mice and humans that the histone H3 methylated Lys 27(H3K27) demethylase Utx(6-9) (also known as Kdm6a) regulates the efficient induction, rather than maintenance, of pluripotency. Murine embryonic stem cells lacking Utx can execute lineage commitment and contribute to adult chimaeric animals; however, somatic cells lacking Utx fail to robustly reprogram back to the ground state of pluripotency. Utx directly partners with OSK reprogramming factors and uses its histone demethylase catalytic activity to facilitate iPSC formation. Genomic analysis indicates that Utx depletion results in aberrant dynamics of H3K27me3 repressive chromatin demethylation in somatic cells undergoing reprogramming. The latter directly hampers the derepression of potent pluripotency promoting gene modules (including Sall1, Sall4 and Utf1), which can cooperatively substitute for exogenous OSK supplementation in iPSC formation. Remarkably, Utx safeguards the timely execution of H3K27me3 demethylation observed in embryonic day 10.5-11 primordial germcells (PGCs)(10), and Utx-deficientPGCs show cell-autonomous aberrant epigenetic reprogramming dynamics during their embryonic maturation in vivo. Subsequently, this disrupts PGC development by embryonic day 12.5, and leads to diminished germline transmission in mouse chimaeras generated from Utx-knockout pluripotent cells. Thus, we identify Utx as a novel mediator with distinct functions during the re-establishment of pluripotency and germ cell development. Furthermore, our findings highlight the principle that molecular regulators mediating loss of
Fuchs G., Shema E., Vesterman R., Kotler E., Wolchinsky Z., Wilder S., Golomb L., Pribluda A., Zhang F., Haj-Yahya M., Feldmesser E., Brik A., Yu X., Hanna J., Aberdam D., Domany E. & Oren M.
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) maintain high genomic plasticity, which is essential for their capacity to enter diverse differentiation pathways. Posttranscriptional modifications of chromatin histones play a pivotal role in maintaining this plasticity. We now report that one such modification, monoubiquitylation of histone H2B on lysine 120 (H2Bub1), catalyzed by the E3 ligase RNF20, increases during ESC differentiation and is required for efficient execution of this process. This increase is particularly important for the transcriptional induction of relatively long genes during ESC differentiation. Furthermore, we identify the deubiquitinase USP44 as a negative regulator of H2B ubiquitylation, whose downregulation during ESC differentiation contributes to the increase in H2Bub1. Our findings suggest that optimal ESC differentiation requires dynamic changes in H2B ubiquitylation patterns, which must occur in a timely and well-coordinated manner.
Carey B. W., Markoulaki S., Hanna J. H., Faddah D. A., Buganim Y., Kim J., Ganz K., Steine E. J., Cassady J. P., Creyghton M. P., Welstead G. G., Gao Q. & Jaenisch R.
Cell Stem Cell.
We compared two genetically highly defined transgenic systems to identify parameters affecting reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state. Our results demonstrate that the level and stoichiometry of reprogramming factors during the reprogramming process strongly influence the resulting pluripotency of iPS cells. High expression of Oct4 and Klf4 combined with lower expression of c-Myc and Sox2 produced iPS cells that efficiently generated "all-iPSC mice" by tetraploid (4n) complementation, maintained normal imprinting at the Dlk1-Dio3 locus, and did not create mice with tumors. Loss of imprinting (LOI) at the Dlk1-Dio3 locus did not strictly correlate with reduced pluripotency though the efficiency of generating "all-iPSC mice" was diminished. Our data indicate that stoichiometry of reprogramming factors can influence epigenetic and biological properties of iPS cells. This concept complicates efforts to define a "generic" epigenetic state of iPSCs and ESCs and should be considered when comparing different iPS and ES cell lines.
Novershtern N. & Hanna J. H.
Nature Cell Biology.
How the unique chromatin configuration of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) integrates inputs from exogenous stimuli to maintain pluripotency remains largely unknown. The ESC-specific ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling (esBAF) complex maintains the accessibility of the target sites of Stat3, a leukaemia inhibitory factor (LIF) signalling effector, by preventing repressive localized polycomb-mediated trimethylation of Lys 27 of histone 3 (H3K27me3).
Hanna J. H., Saha K. & Jaenisch R.
Direct reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells by ectopic expression of defined transcription factors has raised fundamental questions regarding the epigenetic stability of the differentiated cell state. In addition, evidence has accumulated that distinct states of pluripotency can interconvert through the modulation of both cell-intrinsic and exogenous factors. To fully realize the potential of in vitro reprogrammed cells, we need to understand the molecular and epigenetic determinants that convert one cell type into another. Here we review recent advances in this rapidly moving field and emphasize unresolved and controversial questions.
Hanna J. H.
Cell Stem Cell.
Pluripotency can be induced in somatic cells via ectopic expression of defined transcription factors. In this issue of Cell Stem Cell, Yang et al. (2010) demonstrate that Lif/Stat3 signaling directly contributes to the in vitro induction of murine naive pluripotency.
Markel G., Mussaffi H., Ling K., Salio M., Gadola S., Steuer G., Blau H., Achdout H., de Miguel M. M., Gonen-Gross T., Hanna J. (., Amon T., Qimron U., Volovitz I., Eisenbach L., Blumberg R., Porgador A., Cerundolo V. & Mandelboim O.
The killing of natural killer (NK) cells is regulated by activating and inhibitory NK receptors that recognize mainly class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. In transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP2)-deficient patients, killing of autologous cells by NK cells is therefore expected. However, none of the TAP2-deficient patients studied so far have suffered from immediate NK-mediated autoimmune manifestations. We have previously demonstrated the existence of a novel class I MHC-independent inhibitory mechanism of NK cell cytotoxicity mediated by the homophilic carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) interactions. Here, we identified 3 new siblings suffering from TAP2 deficiency. NK cells derived from these patients express unusually high levels of the various killer cell inhibitory receptors (KIRs) and the CEACAM1 protein. Importantly, the patients'NK cells use the CEACAM1 protein to inhibit the killing of tumor and autologous cells. Finally, we show that the function of the main NK lysis receptor, NKp46, is impaired in these patients. These results indicate that NK cells in TAP2-deficient patients have developed unique mechanisms to reduce NK killing activity and to compensate for the lack of class I MHC-mediated inhibition. These mechanisms prevent the attack of self-cells by the autologous NK cells and explain why TAP2-deficient patients do not suffer from autoimmune manifestations in early stages of life. (C) 2004 by The American Society of Hematology.