- Activin and Wnt signaling are necessary and sufficient for mesendoderm (ME) differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In this study, we report that during ME differentiation induced by Activin and Wnt, Activin/Smad2 induces a decrease of the repressive histone modification of H3K27me3 by promoting the proteasome-dependent degradation of enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb (EZH2)-repressive complex 2 subunit. As a result, recruitment of the forkhead protein FOXH1 on open chromatin regions integrates the signals of Activin/Smad2 and Wnt/β-catenin to activate the expression of the ME genes including HAS2 and ALDH3A2.
- Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into mesendoderm (ME) is directed by extrinsic signals and intrinsic epigenetic modifications. However, the dynamics of these epigenetic modifications and the mechanisms by which extrinsic signals regulate the epigenetic modifications during the initiation of ME differentiation remain elusive. In this study, we report that levels of histone H3 Lys-27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) decrease during ME initiation, which is essential for subsequent differentiation induced by the combined effects of activin and Wnt signaling.
- Wnt signaling plays a critical role in embryonic development, tissue homeostasis, and cancer development. Dishevelled (Dvl) is an essential and central component in Wnt signaling, and its stability and activity is tightly regulated. It has been shown that Dvl can be degraded via both the proteasome and autophagy-lysosome pathways. Here we report that receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) negatively regulates Dishevelled stability and Wnt signaling. RACK1 interacts with Dvl proteins and promotes their lysosomal degradation, and this effect is enhanced by autophagy induction.
- TGF-β is a pleiotropic cytokine that regulates a wide range of cellular actions and pathophysiological processes. TGF-β signaling is spatiotemporally fine-tuned. As a key negative regulator of TGF-β signaling, Smad7 exerts its inhibitory effects by blocking receptor activity, inducing receptor degradation or interfering with Smad-DNA binding. However, the functions and the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of Smad7 in TGF-β signaling are still not fully understood. In this study we report a novel mechanism whereby Smad7 antagonizes TGF-β signaling at the Smad level.
- Background: Activin maintains TSC self-renewal in the presence of FGF4 while promoting syncytiotrophoblast differentiation without FGF4.Results: Bcor is repressed by activin and regulates TSC self-renewal and differentiation by inhibiting trophoblast-specific transcription factors.Conclusion: Bcor is a downstream target of activin and mediates activin functions in TSCs.Significance: This study advances our understanding of placental development and placenta-related diseases.
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a fundamental process in embryonic development and organ formation. Aberrant regulation of EMT often leads to tumor progression. Changes in cell surface sialylation have recently been implicated in mediating EMT. Herein we report the visualization of dynamic changes of sialylation and glycoproteomic analysis of newly synthesized sialylated proteins in EMT by metabolic labeling of sialylated glycans with azides, followed by click labeling with fluorophores or affinity tags.
- Autophagy is a regulated process that sequesters and transports cytoplasmic materials such as protein aggregates via autophagosomes to lysosomes for degradation. Dapper1 (Dpr1), an interacting protein of Dishevelled (Dvl), antagonizes Wnt signaling by promoting Dishevelled degradation via lysosomes. However, the mechanism is unclear. Here, we show that Dpr1 promotes the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor (VHL)-mediated ubiquitination of Dvl2 and its autophagic degradation. Knockdown of Dpr1 decreases the interaction between Dvl2 and pVHL, resulting in reduced ubiquitination of Dvl2.