[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell cultures exhibit heterogeneity and recently are discovered to sporadically enter the 2-cell (2C)-embryo state, critical for ES potency. Zscan4 could mark the sporadic 2C-state of ES cells. However, factors that regulate the Zscan4(+)/2C state remain to be elucidated. We show that Tbx3 plays a novel role in regulation of Zscan4(+)/2C state. Tbx3 activates 2-cell genes including Zscan4 and Tcstv1/3, but not vise versa. Ectopic expression of Tbx3 results in telomere elongation, consistent with a role for Zscan4 in telomere lengthening. Mechanistically, Tbx3 decreases Dnmt3b and increases Tet2 protein levels, and reduces binding of Dnmt3b to subtelomeres, resulting in reduced DNA methylation and derepression of genes at subtelomeres, e.g. Zscan4. These data suggest that Tbx3 can activate Zscan4(+)/2C state by negative regulation of DNA methylation at repeated sequences, linking to telomere maintenance and self-renewal of ES cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rejuvenation of telomeres with various lengths has been found in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Mechanisms of telomere length regulation during induction and proliferation of iPSCs remain elusive. We show that telomere dynamics are variable in mouse iPSCs during reprogramming and passage, and suggest that these differences likely result from multiple potential factors, including the telomerase machinery, telomerase-independent mechanisms and clonal influences including reexpression of exogenous reprogramming factors. Using a genetic model of telomerase-deficient (Terc(-/-) and Terc(+/-)) cells for derivation and passages of iPSCs, we found that telomerase plays a critical role in reprogramming and self-renewal of iPSCs. Further, telomerase maintenance of telomeres is necessary for induction of true pluripotency while the alternative pathway of elongation and maintenance by recombination is also required, but not sufficient. Together, several aspects of telomere biology may account for the variable telomere dynamics in iPSCs. Notably, the mechanisms employed to maintain telomeres during iPSC reprogramming are very similar to those of embryonic stem cells. These findings may also relate to the cloning field where these mechanisms could be responsible for telomere heterogeneity after nuclear reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Cell Research 12/2011; 22(4):757-68. · 11.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (pESCs) have been generated in several mammalian species from parthenogenetic embryos that would otherwise die around mid-gestation. However, previous reports suggest that pESCs derived from in vivo ovulated (IVO) mature oocytes show limited pluripotency, as evidenced by low chimera production, high tissue preference and especially deficiency in germline competence, a critical test for genetic integrity and pluripotency of ESCs. Here, we report efficient generation of germline-competent pESC lines (named as IVM pESCs) from parthenogenetic embryos developed from immature oocytes of adult mouse ovaries following in vitro maturation (IVM) and artificial activation. In contrast, pESCs derived from IVO oocytes show defective germline competence, consistent with previous reports. Further, IVM pESCs resemble more ESCs from fertilized embryos (fESCs) than do IVO pESCs on genome-wide DNA methylation and global protein profiles. In addition, IVM pESCs express higher levels of Blimp1, Lin28 and Stella, relative to fESCs, and in their embryoid bodies following differentiation. This may indicate differences in differentiation potentially to the germline. The mechanisms for acquisition of pluripotency and germline competency of IVM pESCs from immature oocytes remain to be determined.
Human Molecular Genetics 03/2011; 20(7):1339-52. · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Telomerase and telomeres are important for indefinite replication of stem cells. Recently, telomeres of somatic cells were found to be reprogrammed to elongate in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The role of telomeres in developmental pluripotency in vivo of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or iPSCs, however, has not been directly addressed. We show that ESCs with long telomeres exhibit authentic developmental pluripotency, as evidenced by generation of complete ESC pups as well as germline-competent chimeras, the most stringent tests available in rodents. ESCs with short telomeres show reduced teratoma formation and chimera production, and fail to generate complete ESC pups. Telomere lengths are highly correlated (r > 0.8) with the developmental pluripotency of ESCs. Short telomeres decrease the proliferative rate or capacity of ESCs, alter the expression of genes related to telomere epigenetics, down-regulate genes important for embryogenesis and disrupt germ cell differentiation. Moreover, iPSCs with longer telomeres generate chimeras with higher efficiency than those with short telomeres. Our data show that functional telomeres are essential for the developmental pluripotency of ESCs/iPSCs and suggest that telomere length may provide a valuable marker to evaluate stem cell pluripotency, particularly when the stringent tests are not feasible.
Cell Research 02/2011; 21(5):779-92. · 11.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isolation of mouse MSCs (mMSCs) with normal ploidy from bone marrow remains challenging. mMSCs isolated under 20% O(2) are frequently contaminated by overgrown hematopoietic cells, and could also be especially vulnerable to oxidative damage, resulting in chromosomal instability. Culture under low oxygen or extracellular matrix (ECM) improves proliferation of MSCs in several species. We tested the hypothesis that culture under low oxygen in combination with ECM prepared from mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF-ECM) could be used to purify proliferative mMSCs, and to reduce oxidative damage and maintain their chromosomal stability.
Optimization of culture conditions under 20% O(2) resulted in immortalization of mMSCs, showing extensive chromosome abnormalities, consistent with previous studies. In contrast, culture under low oxygen (2% O(2)) improved proliferation of mMSCs and reduced oxidative damage, such that mMSCs were purified simply by plating at low density under 2% O(2). MEF-ECM reduced oxidative damage and enhanced proliferation of mMSCs. However, these isolated mMSCs still exhibited high frequency of chromosome abnormalities, suggesting that low oxygen or in combination with MEF-ECM was insufficient to fully protect mMSCs from oxidative damage. Notably, antioxidants (alpha -phenyl-t-butyl nitrone (PBN) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC)) further reduced DNA damage and chromosomal abnormalities, and increased proliferation of mMSCs. mMSCs isolated by the combination method were successfully used to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by ectopic expression of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc.
We have developed a technique that allows to reduce the number of karyotypic abnormalities for isolation of primary mMSCs and for limited culture period by combination of low oxygen, MEF-ECM, antioxidants and low density plating strategy. The effectiveness of the new combination method is demonstrated by successful generation of iPS cells from the isolated mMSCs. However, a culture system for mMSCs still is needed to prevent all the anomalies, especially after a long-term culture period.