microRNAs associate with Argonaute proteins, forming the microRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC), to repress target gene expression post-transcriptionally. Although microRNAs are critical regulators in mammalian cell differentiation, our understanding of how microRNA machinery, such as the miRISC, are regulated during development is still limited. We previously showed that repressing the production of one Argonaute protein, Ago2, by Trim71 is important for mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) self-renewal (Liu et al., 2021). Here we show that among the four Argonaute proteins in mammals, Ago2 is the major developmentally regulated Argonaute protein in mESCs. Moreover, in pluripotency, besides the Trim71-mediated regulation of Ago2 (Liu et al., 2021), Mir182/Mir183 also repress Ago2. Specific inhibition of this microRNA-mediated repression results in stemness defects and accelerated differentiation through the let-7 microRNA pathway. These results reveal a microRNA-mediated regulatory circuit on microRNA machinery that is critical to maintaining pluripotency.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1-5.
Epigenome and transcriptome of naive pluripotent mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells cultured in 2i serum-free mediumNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus|GSE23943.
Studies on Trim71 in mouse embryonic stem cellsNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus | GSE138284.
- Qiuying Liu
- Mariah K Novak
- Rachel M Pepin
- Taylor Eich
- Wenqian Hu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Timothy W Nilsen, Case Western Reserve University, United States
© 2021, Liu 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.
Heterozygous, missense mutations in α- or β-tubulin genes are associated with a wide range of human brain malformations, known as tubulinopathies. We seek to understand whether a mutation’s impact at the molecular and cellular levels scale with the severity of brain malformation. Here, we focus on two mutations at the valine 409 residue of TUBA1A, V409I, and V409A, identified in patients with pachygyria or lissencephaly, respectively. We find that ectopic expression of TUBA1A-V409I/A mutants disrupt neuronal migration in mice and promote excessive neurite branching and a decrease in the number of neurite retraction events in primary rat neuronal cultures. These neuronal phenotypes are accompanied by increased microtubule acetylation and polymerization rates. To determine the molecular mechanisms, we modeled the V409I/A mutants in budding yeast and found that they promote intrinsically faster microtubule polymerization rates in cells and in reconstitution experiments with purified tubulin. In addition, V409I/A mutants decrease the recruitment of XMAP215/Stu2 to plus ends in budding yeast and ablate tubulin binding to TOG (tumor overexpressed gene) domains. In each assay tested, the TUBA1A-V409I mutant exhibits an intermediate phenotype between wild type and the more severe TUBA1A-V409A, reflecting the severity observed in brain malformations. Together, our data support a model in which the V409I/A mutations disrupt microtubule regulation typically conferred by XMAP215 proteins during neuronal morphogenesis and migration, and this impact on tubulin activity at the molecular level scales with the impact at the cellular and tissue levels.
TMEM16F, a Ca2+-activated phospholipid scramblase (CaPLSase), is critical for placental trophoblast syncytialization, HIV infection, and SARS-CoV2-mediated syncytialization, however, how TMEM16F is activated during cell fusion is unclear. Here, using trophoblasts as a model for cell fusion, we demonstrate that Ca2+ influx through the Ca2+ permeable transient receptor potential vanilloid channel TRPV4 is critical for TMEM16F activation and plays a role in subsequent human trophoblast fusion. GSK1016790A, a TRPV4 specific agonist, robustly activates TMEM16F in trophoblasts. We also show that TRPV4 and TMEM16F are functionally coupled within Ca2+ microdomains in a human trophoblast cell line using patch-clamp electrophysiology. Pharmacological inhibition or gene silencing of TRPV4 hinders TMEM16F activation and subsequent trophoblast syncytialization. Our study uncovers the functional expression of TRPV4 and one of the physiological activation mechanisms of TMEM16F in human trophoblasts, thus providing us with novel strategies to regulate CaPLSase activity as a critical checkpoint of physiologically and disease-relevant cell fusion events.