p63 regulates human keratinocyte proliferation via MYC-regulated gene network and differentiation commitment through cell adhesion-related gene network.
ABSTRACT Although p63 and MYC are important in the control of epidermal homeostasis, the underlying molecular mechanisms governing keratinocyte proliferation or differentiation downstream of these two genes are not completely understood. By analyzing the transcriptional changes and phenotypic consequences of the loss of either p63 or MYC in human developmentally mature keratinocytes, we have characterized the networks acting downstream of these two genes to control epidermal homeostasis. We show that p63 is required to maintain growth and to commit to differentiation by two distinct mechanisms. Knockdown of p63 led to down-regulation of MYC via the Wnt/β-catenin and Notch signaling pathways and in turn reduced keratinocyte proliferation. We demonstrate that a p63-controlled keratinocyte cell fate network is essential to induce the onset of keratinocyte differentiation. This network contains several secreted proteins involved in cell migration/adhesion, including fibronectin 1 (FN1), interleukin-1β (IL1B), cysteine-rich protein 61 (CYR61), and jagged-1 (JAG1), that act downstream of p63 as key effectors to trigger differentiation. Our results characterized for the first time a connection between p63 and MYC and a cell adhesion-related network that controls differentiation. Furthermore, we show that the balance between the MYC-controlled cell cycle progression network and the p63-controlled cell adhesion-related network could dictate skin cell fate.
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ABSTRACT: Extensive efforts have been made to understand the molecular actors that control epithelial cell fate. Although pieces of information have been obtained from single-gene function investigations, the entire picture of the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of epithelial homeostasis is still mysterious. Growing data indicate that gene networks rather than single "master" genes dictate cell fate. In an attempt to characterize such gene networks, we have been investigating the human keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation genes that act downstream of the transcription factor p63, a major regulator of epidermal homeostasis. We identified two networks: the cell cycle network that controls cell proliferation and the keratinocyte cell fate network. Through further analysis of the existing data on epithelial tumorigenesis and induced pluripotent stem cells, we propose a wind rose model of cell fate that is based on a balance between these two different networks that ultimately control human keratinocyte fate and epidermal homeostasis.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 10/2014; 71(24). DOI:10.1007/s00018-014-1758-1 · 5.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Transcription Factor (TF) p63 is a master regulator of epidermal development and differentiation as evident from the remarkable skin phenotype of p63 mouse knockouts. Furthermore, ectopic expression of p63 alone is sufficient to convert simple epithelium into stratified epithelial tissues in vivo and p63 is required for efficient transdifferentiation of fibroblasts into keratinocytes. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of p63 function, in particular how it selects its target sites in the genome. p63, which acts both as an activator and repressor of transcription, recognizes a canonical binding motif that occurs over 1 million times in the human genome. But, in human keratinocytes less than 12,000 of these sites are bound in vivo suggesting that underlying chromatin architecture and cooperating TFs mediate p63-genome interactions. We find that the chromatin architecture at p63-bound targets possess distinctive features and can be used to categorize p63 targets into proximal promoters (1%), enhancers (59%) and repressed or inactive (40%) regulatory elements. Our analysis shows that the chromatin modifications H3K4me1, H3K27me3, along with overall chromatin accessibility status can accurately predict bonafide p63-bound sites without a priori DNA sequence information. Interestingly, however there exists a qualitative correlation between the p63 binding motif and accessibility and H3K4me1 levels. Furthermore, we use a comprehensive in silico approach that leverages ENCODE data to identify several known TFs such as AP1, AP2 and novel TFs (RFX5 for e.g.) that can potentially cooperate with p63 to modulate its myriad biological functions in keratinocytes. Our analysis shows that p63 bound genomic locations in keratinocytes are accessible, marked by active histone modifications, and co-targeted by other developmentally important transcriptional regulators. Collectively, our results suggest that p63 might actively remodel and /or influence chromatin dynamics at its target sites and in the process dictate its own DNA binding and possibly that of adjacent TFs.BMC Genomics 11/2014; 15(1):1042. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1042 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that cancer is populated and maintained by tumour-initiating cells (TICs) with stem-like properties similar to those of adult tissue stem cells. Despite recent advances, the molecular regulatory mechanisms that may be shared between normal and malignant stem cells remain poorly understood. Here we show that the ΔNp63 isoform of the Trp63 transcription factor promotes normal mammary stem cell (MaSC) activity by increasing the expression of the Wnt receptor Fzd7, thereby enhancing Wnt signalling. Importantly, Fzd7-dependent enhancement of Wnt signalling by ΔNp63 also governs tumour-initiating activity of the basal subtype of breast cancer. These findings establish ΔNp63 as a key regulator of stem cells in both normal and malignant mammary tissues and provide direct evidence that breast cancer TICs and normal MaSCs share common regulatory mechanisms.Nature Cell Biology 09/2014; DOI:10.1038/ncb3040 · 20.06 Impact Factor