Tcf3 Governs Stem Cell Features and Represses Cell Fate Determination in Skin

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 300, New York, NY 10021, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 32.24). 11/2006; 127(1):171-83. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2006.07.036
Source: PubMed


Many stem cells (SCs) respond to Wnt signaling, but whether beta-catenin's DNA binding partners, the Tcfs, play a role in SCs in the absence of Wnts, is unknown. In adult skin, quiescent multipotent progenitors express Tcf3 and commit to a hair cell fate in response to Wnt signaling. We find that embryonic skin progenitors also express Tcf3. Using an inducible system in mice, we show that upon Tcf3 reactivation, committed epidermal cells induce genes associated with an undifferentiated, Wnt-inhibited state and Tcf3 promotes a transcriptional program shared by embryonic and postnatal SCs. Further, Tcf3-repressed genes include transcriptional regulators of the epidermal, sebaceous gland and hair follicle differentiation programs, and correspondingly, all three terminal differentiation pathways are suppressed when Tcf3 is induced postnatally. These data suggest that in the absence of Wnt signals, Tcf3 may function in skin SCs to maintain an undifferentiated state and, through Wnt signaling, directs these cells along the hair lineage.

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Available from: Michael Rendl, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Distinct hair cycle stages were judged as previously described (Muller- Rover et al., 2001; Greco et al., 2009; Oshimori and Fuchs, 2012). Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining and immunofluorescence were performed as previously described (Nguyen et al., 2006; Hu et al., 2012; Oshimori and Fuchs, 2012). Back skins from mice were embedded and frozen in OCT (Tissue Tek). "
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    ABSTRACT: Hair follicles (HFs) undergo cycles of degeneration (catagen), rest (telogen), and regeneration (anagen) phases. Anagen begins when the hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) obtain sufficient activation cues to overcome suppressive signals mainly through the BMP pathway from their niche cells. Here, we unveil that mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling is activated in HFSCs, which coincides with the HFSC activation at the telogen-to-anagen transition. By using both an inducible conditional gene targeting strategy and a pharmacological inhibition method to ablate or inhibit mTOR signaling in adult skin epithelium before anagen initiation, we demonstrate that HFs that cannot respond to mTOR signaling display significantly delayed HFSC activation and extended telogen. Unexpectedly, BMP signaling activity is dramatically prolonged in mTOR signaling-deficient HFs. Through both gain- and loss-of-function studies in vitro, we show that mTORC1 signaling negatively affects BMP signaling, which serves as a main mechanism whereby mTORC1 signaling facilitates HFSC activation. Indeed, in vivo suppression of BMP by its antagonist Noggin rescues the HFSC activation defect in mTORC1-null skin. Our findings reveal a critical role for mTOR signaling in regulating stem cell activation through counterbalancing BMP-mediated repression during hair regeneration. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, IBCB, SIBS, CAS. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Molecular Cell Biology 01/2015; DOI:10.1093/jmcb/mjv005 · 6.77 Impact Factor
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    • "Intriguingly, Tcf3 was found to be expressed in different types of stem cells including embryonic and hair follicle stem cells. Whereas Tcf3 promotes differentiation of ES cells, in part through counteracting Wnt-mediated maintenance signals, it promotes the maintenance of hair follicle stem cells, in part through counteracting Wnt-mediated epidermal differentiation [26], [27]. A recent study reported that Tcf3 is also expressed in the neocortical VZ and that Tcf3 overexpression suppresses and knockdown promotes neuronal differentiation of neocortical NPCs [28]. "
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    ABSTRACT: During mouse neocortical development, the Wnt-β-catenin signaling pathway plays essential roles in various phenomena including neuronal differentiation and proliferation of neural precursor cells (NPCs). Production of the appropriate number of neurons without depletion of the NPC population requires precise regulation of the balance between differentiation and maintenance of NPCs. However, the mechanism that suppresses Wnt signaling to prevent premature neuronal differentiation of NPCs is poorly understood. We now show that the HMG box transcription factor Tcf3 (also known as Tcf7l1) contributes to this mechanism. Tcf3 is highly expressed in undifferentiated NPCs in the mouse neocortex, and its expression is reduced in intermediate neuronal progenitors (INPs) committed to the neuronal fate. We found Tcf3 to be a repressor of Wnt signaling in neocortical NPCs in a reporter gene assay. Tcf3 bound to the promoter of the proneural bHLH gene Neurogenin1 (Neurog1) and repressed its expression. Consistent with this, Tcf3 repressed neuronal differentiation and increased the self-renewal activity of NPCs. We also found that Wnt signal stimulation reduces the level of Tcf3, and increases those of Tcf1 (also known as Tcf7) and Lef1, positive mediators of Wnt signaling, in NPCs. Together, these results suggest that Tcf3 antagonizes Wnt signaling in NPCs, thereby maintaining their undifferentiated state in the neocortex and that Wnt signaling promotes the transition from Tcf3-mediated repression to Tcf1/Lef1-mediated enhancement of Wnt signaling, constituting a positive feedback loop that facilitates neuronal differentiation.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e94408. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094408 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "All mouse use was in compliance with protocols approved by the Harvard University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. K14-rtTA mice were obtained from Jackson Laboratory YAP constitutive activation mice were generated through breeding the Col-TetO- YAP S127A mice with K14-rtTA mice (Nguyen et al., 2006; Camargo et al., 2007; Schlegelmilch et al., 2011). Doxycycline was administered to pregnant female mice at 2 mg/mL in drinking water starting at embryonic day 9.5. "
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    ABSTRACT: Teeth develop through distinct morphological stages. At the cap stage, a compactly clustered and concentrically arranged cell mass, the enamel knot, appears at the tip of the enamel organ. Cells in this knot express sets of key molecules, and as such have been proposed to act as a signaling center directing tooth morphogenesis and tooth cusp formation. YAP is a transcriptional co-activator of the Hippo signaling pathway that is essential for the proper regulation of organ growth. In this study, we analyzed the tooth phenotype in transgenic mice that overexpressed a constitutively active form of YAP in the dental epithelium. We found that overexpression of YAP resulted in deformed tooth morphogenesis with widened dental lamina. In addition, the enamel knot was mislocated to the upper portion of the enamel organ, where it remained devoid of proliferating cells and contained apoptotic cells with intense Edar transcripts and reduced E-cadherin expression. Interestingly, some signaling molecules, such as Shh, Fgf4, and Wnt10a, were not expressed in this mislocated enamel knot, but remained at the tip of the enamel organ. Analysis of these data suggests that the signaling center is induced by reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and its induction may be independent of the enamel knot.
    Journal of dental research 02/2014; 93(5). DOI:10.1177/0022034514525784 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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