|Zscan4 is regulated by PI3-kinase and DNA-damaging agents and directly interacts with the transcriptional repressors LSD1 and CtBP2 in mouse embryonic stem cells.|
Storm, MP; Kumpfmueller, B; Bone, HK; Buchholz, M; Sanchez Ripoll, Y; Chaudhuri, JB; Niwa, H; Tosh, D; Welham, MJ
The Zscan4 family of genes, encoding SCAN-domain and zinc finger-containing proteins, has been implicated in the control of early mammalian embryogenesis as well as the regulation of pluripotency and maintenance of genome integrity in mouse embryonic stem cells. However, many features of this enigmatic family of genes are poorly understood. Here we show that undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines simultaneously express multiple members of the Zscan4 gene family, with Zscan4c, Zscan4f and Zscan4-ps2 consistently being the most abundant. Despite this, between only 0.1 and 0.7% of undifferentiated mouse pluripotent stem cells express Zscan4 protein at a given time, consistent with a very restricted pattern of Zscan4 transcripts reported previously. Herein we demonstrate that Zscan4 expression is regulated by the p110α catalytic isoform of phosphoinositide 3-kinases and is induced following exposure to a sub-class of DNA-damage-inducing agents, including Zeocin and Cisplatin. Furthermore, we observe that Zscan4 protein expression peaks during the G2 phase of the cell cycle, suggesting that it may play a critical role at this checkpoint. Studies with GAL4-fusion proteins suggest a role for Zscan4 in transcriptional regulation, further supported by the fact that protein interaction analyses demonstrate that Zscan4 interacts with both LSD1 and CtBP2 in ESC nuclei. This study advances and extends our understanding of Zscan4 expression, regulation and mechanism of action. Based on our data we propose that Zscan4 may regulate gene transcription in mouse ES cells through interaction with LSD1 and CtBP2.
|Role of Tet proteins in enhancer activity and telomere elongation.|
Lu, F; Liu, Y; Jiang, L; Yamaguchi, S; Zhang, Y
Genes & development
DNA methylation at the C-5 position of cytosine (5mC) is one of the best-studied epigenetic modifications and plays important roles in diverse biological processes. Iterative oxidation of 5mC by the ten-eleven translocation (Tet) family of proteins generates 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5fC), and 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC). 5fC and 5caC are selectively recognized and excised by thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG), leading to DNA demethylation. Functional characterization of Tet proteins has been complicated by the redundancy between the three family members. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we generated mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) deficient for all three Tet proteins (Tet triple knockout [TKO]). Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) analysis revealed that Tet-mediated DNA demethylation mainly occurs at distally located enhancers and fine-tunes the transcription of genes associated with these regions. Functional characterization of Tet TKO ESCs revealed a role for Tet proteins in regulating the two-cell embryo (2C)-like state under ESC culture conditions. In addition, Tet TKO ESCs exhibited increased telomere-sister chromatid exchange and elongated telomeres. Collectively, our study reveals a role for Tet proteins in not only DNA demethylation at enhancers but also regulating the 2C-like state and telomere homeostasis.