Essential and Unexpected Role of YY1 to Promote Mesodermal Cardiac Differentiation
ABSTRACT Rationale: Cardiogenesis is regulated by a complex interplay between transcription factors. However, little is known about how these interactions regulate the transition from mesodermal precursors to cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). Objective: To identify novel regulators of mesodermal cardiac lineage commitment. Methods and Results: We performed a bioinformatic-based transcription factor binding site analysis on upstream promoter regions of genes that are enriched in embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived CPCs. From 32 candidate transcription factors screened, we found that YY1, a repressor of sarcomeric gene expression, is present in CPCs in vivo. Interestingly, we uncovered the ability of YY1 to transcriptionally activate Nkx2.5, a key marker of early cardiogenic commitment. YY1 regulates Nkx2.5 expression via a 2.1 kb cardiac-specific enhancer as demonstrated by in vitro luciferase-based assays and in vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and genome-wide sequencing analysis. Furthermore, the ability of YY1 to activate Nkx2.5 expression depends on its cooperative interaction with Gata4 at a nearby chromatin. Cardiac mesoderm-specific loss-of-function of YY1 resulted in early embryonic lethality. This was corroborated in vitro by ESC-based assays where we show that the overexpression of YY1 enhanced the cardiogenic differentiation of ESCs into CPCs. Conclusions: These results demonstrate an essential and unexpected role for YY1 to promote cardiogenesis as a transcriptional activator of Nkx2.5 and other CPC-enriched genes.
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ABSTRACT: Vertebrate heart development is strictly regulated by temporal and spatial expression of growth and transcription factors (TFs). We analyzed nine TFs, selected by in silico analysis of an Nkx2.5 enhancer, for their ability to transactivate the respective enhancer element that drives, specifically, expression of genes in cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). Mzf1 showed significant activity in reporter assays and bound directly to the Nkx2.5 cardiac enhancer (Nkx2.5 CE) during murine ES cell differentiation. While Mzf1 is established as a hematopoietic TF, its ability to regulate cardiogenesis is completely unknown. Mzf1 expression was significantly enriched in CPCs from in vitro differentiated ES cells and in mouse embryonic hearts. To examine the effect of Mzf1 overexpression on CPC formation, we generated a double transgenic, inducible, tetOMzf1-Nkx2.5 CE eGFP ES line. During in vitro differentiation an early and continuous Mzf1 overexpression inhibited CPC formation and cardiac gene expression. A late Mzf1 overexpression, coincident with a second physiological peak of Mzf1 expression, resulted in enhanced cardiogenesis. These findings implicate a novel, temporal-specific role of Mzf1 in embryonic heart development. Thereby we add another piece of puzzle in understanding the complex mechanisms of vertebrate cardiac development and progenitor cell differentiation. Consequently, this knowledge will be of critical importance to guide efficient cardiac regenerative strategies and to gain further insights into the molecular basis of congenital heart malformations.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e113775. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Hox gene family encodes homeodomain-containing transcriptional regulators that confer positional information to axial and paraxial tissues in the developing embryo. The dynamic Hox gene expression pattern requires mechanisms that differentially control Hox transcription in a precise spatio-temporal fashion. This implies an integrated regulation of neighbouring Hox genes achieved through the sharing and the selective use of defined enhancer sequences. The Hoxa5 gene plays a crucial role in lung and gut organogenesis. To position Hoxa5 in the regulatory hierarchy that drives organ morphogenesis, we searched for cis-acting regulatory sequences and associated trans-acting factors required for Hoxa5 expression in the developing lung and gut. Using mouse transgenesis, we identified two DNA regions included in a 1.5-kb XbaI-XbaI fragment located in the Hoxa4-Hoxa5 intergenic domain and known to control Hoxa4 organ expression. The multifunctional YY1 transcription factor binds the two regulatory sequences in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the mesenchymal deletion of the Yy1 gene function in mice results in a Hoxa5-like lung phenotype with decreased Hoxa5 and Hoxa4 gene expression. Thus, YY1 acts as a positive regulator of Hoxa5 expression in the developing lung and gut. Our data also support a role for YY1 in the coordinated expression of Hox genes for correct organogenesis.PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e93989. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The intestinal stem cell fuels the highest rate of tissue turnover in the body and has been implicated in intestinal disease and cancer; understanding the regulatory mechanisms controlling intestinal stem cell physiology is of great importance. Here, we provide evidence that the transcription factor YY1 is essential for intestinal stem cell renewal. We observe that YY1 loss skews normal homeostatic cell turnover, with an increase in proliferating crypt cells and a decrease in their differentiated villous progeny. Increased crypt cell numbers come at the expense of Lgr5(+) stem cells. On YY1 deletion, Lgr5(+) cells accelerate their commitment to the differentiated population, exhibit increased levels of apoptosis, and fail to maintain stem cell renewal. Loss of Yy1 in the intestine is ultimately fatal. Mechanistically, YY1 seems to play a role in stem cell energy metabolism, with mitochondrial complex I genes bound directly by YY1 and their transcript levels decreasing on YY1 loss. These unappreciated YY1 functions broaden our understanding of metabolic regulation in intestinal stem cell homeostasis.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor