Embryonic stem (ES) cells go though embryo-like cell cycles regulated by specialized molecular mechanisms. However, it is not known whether there are ES cell-specific mechanisms regulating mitotic fidelity. Here we showed that Autoimmune Regulator (Aire), a transcription coordinator involved in immune tolerance processes, is a critical spindle-associated protein in mouse ES(mES) cells. BioID analysis showed that AIRE associates with spindle-associated proteins in mES cells. Loss of function analysis revealed that Aire was important for centrosome number regulation and spindle pole integrity specifically in mES cells. We also identified the c-terminal LESLL motif as a critical motif for AIRE's mitotic function. Combined maternal and zygotic knockout further revealed Aire's critical functions for spindle assembly in preimplantation embryos. These results uncovered a previously unappreciated function for Aire and provide new insights into the biology of stem cell proliferation and potential new angles to understand fertility defects in humans carrying Aire mutations.
AIRE BioID datasetPublicly available at ProteomeXchange (accession no. PXD005529).
- Bin Gu
- Katie Cockburn
- Janet Rossant
- Bin Gu
- Jean-Philippe Lambert
- Jean-Philippe Lambert
- Anne-Claude Gingras
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal work was carried out following Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines for Use of Animals in Research and Laboratory Animal Care under protocols approved by The Centre for Phenogenomics Animal Care Committee (protocol number: 20-0026H).
- Martin Pera, University of Melbourne, Australia
© 2017, Gu et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Co-regulated genes of the Imprinted Gene Network are involved in the control of growth and body size, and imprinted gene dysfunction underlies human paediatric disorders involving the endocrine system. Imprinted genes are highly expressed in the pituitary gland, among them, Dlk1, a paternally expressed gene whose membrane-bound and secreted protein products can regulate proliferation and differentiation of multiple stem cell populations. Dosage of circulating DLK1 has been previously implicated in the control of growth through unknown molecular mechanisms. Here we generate a series of mouse genetic models to modify levels of Dlk1 expression in the pituitary gland and demonstrate that the dosage of DLK1 modulates the process of stem cell commitment with lifelong impact on pituitary gland size. We establish that stem cells are a critical source of DLK1, where embryonic disruption alters proliferation in the anterior pituitary, leading to long-lasting consequences on growth hormone secretion later in life.
Using embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in regenerative medicine or in disease modeling requires a complete understanding of these cells. Two main distinct developmental states of ESCs have been stabilized in vitro, a naïve pre-implantation stage and a primed post-implantation stage. Based on two recently published CRISPR-Cas9 knockout functional screens, we show here that the exit of the naïve state is impaired upon heme biosynthesis pathway blockade, linked in mESCs to the incapacity to activate MAPK- and TGFβ-dependent signaling pathways after succinate accumulation. In addition, heme synthesis inhibition promotes the acquisition of 2 cell-like cells in a heme-independent manner caused by a mitochondrial succinate accumulation and leakage out of the cell. We further demonstrate that extracellular succinate acts as a paracrine/autocrine signal, able to trigger the 2C-like reprogramming through the activation of its plasma membrane receptor, SUCNR1. Overall, this study unveils a new mechanism underlying the maintenance of pluripotency under the control of heme synthesis.