Article

Reprogramming somatic cells into iPS cells activates LINE-1 retroelement mobility.

Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.68). 01/2012; 21(1):208-18. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddr455
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposons account for nearly 17% of human genomic DNA and represent a major evolutionary force that has reshaped the structure and function of the human genome. However, questions remain concerning both the frequency and the developmental timing of L1 retrotransposition in vivo and whether the mobility of these retroelements commonly results in insertional and post-insertional mechanisms of genomic injury. Cells exhibiting high rates of L1 retrotransposition might be especially at risk for such injury. We assessed L1 mRNA expression and L1 retrotransposition in two biologically relevant cell types, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), as well as in control parental human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). Full-length L1 mRNA and the L1 open reading frame 1-encoded protein (ORF1p) were readily detected in hESCs and iPSCs, but not in HDFs. Sequencing analysis proved the expression of human-specific L1 element mRNAs in iPSCs. Bisulfite sequencing revealed that the increased L1 expression observed in iPSCs correlates with an overall decrease in CpG methylation in the L1 promoter region. Finally, retrotransposition of an engineered human L1 element was ~10-fold more efficient in iPSCs than in parental HDFs. These findings indicate that somatic cell reprogramming is associated with marked increases in L1 expression and perhaps increases in endogenous L1 retrotransposition, which could potentially impact the genomic integrity of the resultant iPSCs.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
132 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Retroviruses have evolved complex transcriptional enhancers and promoters that allow for their replication in a wide range of tissue and cell types. Embryonic stem (ES) cells, however, characteristically suppress transcription of proviruses formed after infection by exogenous retroviruses, and also of most members of the vast array of endogenous retroviruses in the genome. These cells have unusual profiles of transcribed genes and are poised to make rapid changes in those profiles upon induction of differentiation. Many of the transcription factors in ES cells control both host and retroviral genes coordinately, such that retroviral expression patterns can serve as markers of ES pluripotency. This overlap is not coincidental: retroviral-derived regulatory sequences are often used to control cellular genes important for pluripotency. These sequences specify the temporal control and perhaps "noisy" control of cellular genes that direct proper cell gene expression in primitive cells and their differentiating progeny. The evidence suggests that the viral elements have been domesticated for host needs, reflecting the wide-ranging exploitation of any and all available DNA sequences in assembling regulatory networks. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 12/2014; 35(5). · 5.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) retrotransposition induces insertional mutations that can result in diseases. It was recently shown that the copy number of L1 and other retroelements is stable in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). However, by using an engineered reporter construct over-expressing L1, another study suggests that reprogramming activates L1 mobility in iPSCs. Given the potential of human iPSCs in therapeutic applications, it is important to clarify whether these cells harbor somatic insertions resulting from endogenous L1 retrotransposition. Here, we verified L1 expression during and after reprogramming as well as potential somatic insertions driven by the most active human endogenous L1 subfamily (L1Hs). Our results indicate that L1 over-expression is initiated during the reprogramming process and is subsequently sustained in isolated clones. To detect potential somatic insertions in iPSCs caused by L1Hs retotransposition, we used a novel sequencing strategy. As opposed to conventional sequencing direction, we sequenced from the 3' end of L1Hs to the genomic DNA, thus enabling the direct detection of the polyA tail signature of retrotransposition for verification of true insertions. Deep coverage sequencing thus allowed us to detect seven potential somatic insertions with low read counts from two iPSC clones. Negative PCR amplification in parental cells, presence of a polyA tail and absence from seven L1 germline insertion databases highly suggested true somatic insertions in iPSCs. Furthermore, these insertions could not be detected in iPSCs by PCR, likely due to low abundance. We conclude that L1Hs retrotransposes at low levels in iPSCs and therefore warrants careful analyses for genotoxic effects.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e108682. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The days of 'junk DNA' seem to be over. The rapid progress of genomics technologies has been unveiling unexpected mechanisms by which repetitive DNA and in particular transposable elements (TEs) have evolved, becoming key issues in understanding genome structure and function. Indeed, rather than 'parasites', recent findings strongly suggest that TEs may have a positive function by contributing to tissue specific transcriptional programs, in particular as enhancer-like elements and/or modules for regulation of higher order chromatin structure. Further, it appears that during development and aging genomes experience several waves of TEs activation, and this contributes to individual genome shaping during lifetime. Interestingly, TEs activity is major target of epigenomic regulation. These findings are shedding new light on the genome-phenotype relationship and set the premises to help to explain complex disease manifestation, as consequence of TEs activity deregulation.
    Current Opinion in Cell Biology 09/2014; 31C:67-73. · 8.74 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
39 Downloads
Available from
May 17, 2014