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p63 is a transcriptional regulator of ectodermal development that is required for basal cell proliferation and stem cell maintenance. p73 is a closely related p53 family member that is expressed in select p63-positive basal cells and can heterodimerize with p63. p73-/- mice lack multiciliated cells and have reduced numbers of basal epithelial cells in select tissues; however, the role of p73 in basal epithelial cells is unknown. Herein, we show that p73-deficient mice exhibit delayed wound healing despite morphologically normal-appearing skin. The delay in wound healing is accompanied by decreased proliferation and increased levels of biomarkers of the DNA damage response in basal keratinocytes at the epidermal wound edge. In wild-type mice, this same cell population exhibited increased p73 expression after wounding. Analyzing single-cell transcriptomic data, we found that p73 was expressed by epidermal and hair follicle stem cells, cell types required for wound healing. Moreover, we discovered that p73 isoforms expressed in the skin (ΔNp73) enhance p63-mediated expression of keratinocyte genes during cellular reprogramming from a mesenchymal to basal keratinocyte-like cell. We identified a set of 44 genes directly or indirectly regulated by ΔNp73 that are involved in skin development, cell junctions, cornification, proliferation, and wound healing. Our results establish a role for p73 in cutaneous wound healing through regulation of basal keratinocyte function.
Transcription factors positively and/or negatively impact gene expression by recruiting coregulatory factors, which interact through protein-protein binding. Here we demonstrate that mouse pancreas size and islet β-cell function are controlled by the ATP-dependent Swi/Snf chromatin remodeling coregulatory complex that physically associates with Pdx1, a diabetes-linked transcription factor essential to pancreatic morphogenesis and adult islet cell function and maintenance. Early embryonic deletion of just the Swi/Snf Brg1 ATPase subunit reduced multipotent pancreatic progenitor cell proliferation and resulted in pancreas hypoplasia. In contrast, removal of both Swi/Snf ATPase subunits, Brg1 and Brm, was necessary to compromise adult islet β-cell activity, which included whole-animal glucose intolerance, hyperglycemia, and impaired insulin secretion. Notably, lineage-tracing analysis revealed Swi/Snf-deficient β-cells lost the ability to produce the mRNAs for and other key metabolic genes without effecting the expression of many essential islet-enriched transcription factors. Swi/Snf was necessary for Pdx1 to bind to the gene enhancer, demonstrating the importance of this association in mediating chromatin accessibility. These results illustrate how fundamental the Pdx1:Swi/Snf coregulator complex is in the pancreas, and we discuss how disrupting their association could influence type 1 and type 2 diabetes susceptibility.
© 2019 by the American Diabetes Association.
OBJECTIVE - Hundreds of missense mutations in the coding region of PDX1 exist; however, if these mutations predispose to diabetes mellitus is unknown.
METHODS - In this study, we screened a large cohort of subjects with increased risk for diabetes and identified two subjects with impaired glucose tolerance carrying common, heterozygous, missense mutations in the PDX1 coding region leading to single amino acid exchanges (P33T, C18R) in its transactivation domain. We generated iPSCs from patients with heterozygous PDX1, PDX1 mutations and engineered isogenic cell lines carrying homozygous PDX1, PDX1 mutations and a heterozygous PDX1 loss-of-function mutation (PDX1).
RESULTS - Using an in vitro β-cell differentiation protocol, we demonstrated that both, heterozygous PDX1, PDX1 and homozygous PDX1, PDX1 mutations impair β-cell differentiation and function. Furthermore, PDX1 and PDX1 mutations reduced differentiation efficiency of pancreatic progenitors (PPs), due to downregulation of PDX1-bound genes, including transcription factors MNX1 and PDX1 as well as insulin resistance gene CES1. Additionally, both PDX1 and PDX1 mutations in PPs reduced the expression of PDX1-bound genes including the long-noncoding RNA, MEG3 and the imprinted gene NNAT, both involved in insulin synthesis and secretion.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results reveal mechanistic details of how common coding mutations in PDX1 impair human pancreatic endocrine lineage formation and β-cell function and contribute to the predisposition for diabetes.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - The integration of high-quality, genome-wide analyses offers a robust approach to elucidating genetic factors involved in complex human diseases. Even though several methods exist to integrate heterogeneous omics data, most biologists still manually select candidate genes by examining the intersection of lists of candidates stemming from analyses of different types of omics data that have been generated by imposing hard (strict) thresholds on quantitative variables, such as P-values and fold changes, increasing the chance of missing potentially important candidates.
METHODS - To better facilitate the unbiased integration of heterogeneous omics data collected from diverse platforms and samples, we propose a desirability function framework for identifying candidate genes with strong evidence across data types as targets for follow-up functional analysis. Our approach is targeted towards disease systems with sparse, heterogeneous omics data, so we tested it on one such pathology: spontaneous preterm birth (sPTB).
RESULTS - We developed the software integRATE, which uses desirability functions to rank genes both within and across studies, identifying well-supported candidate genes according to the cumulative weight of biological evidence rather than based on imposition of hard thresholds of key variables. Integrating 10 sPTB omics studies identified both genes in pathways previously suspected to be involved in sPTB as well as novel genes never before linked to this syndrome. integRATE is available as an R package on GitHub ( https://github.com/haleyeidem/integRATE ).
CONCLUSIONS - Desirability-based data integration is a solution most applicable in biological research areas where omics data is especially heterogeneous and sparse, allowing for the prioritization of candidate genes that can be used to inform more targeted downstream functional analyses.
Interstrand DNA cross-links (ICLs) block both replication and transcription, and are commonly repaired by the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway. However, FA-independent repair mechanisms of ICLs remain poorly understood. Here we report a previously uncharacterized protein, SAN1, as a 5' exonuclease that acts independently of the FA pathway in response to ICLs. Deletion of SAN1 in HeLa cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts causes sensitivity to ICLs, which is prevented by re-expression of wild type but not nuclease-dead SAN1. SAN1 deletion causes DNA damage and radial chromosome formation following treatment with Mitomycin C, phenocopying defects in the FA pathway. However, SAN1 deletion is not epistatic with FANCD2, a core FA pathway component. Unexpectedly, SAN1 binds to Senataxin (SETX), an RNA/DNA helicase that resolves R-loops. SAN1-SETX binding is increased by ICLs, and is required to prevent cross-link sensitivity. We propose that SAN1 functions with SETX in a pathway necessary for resistance to ICLs.
OBJECTIVE - Homozygous loss-of-function mutations in the gene coding for the homeobox transcription factor (TF) PDX1 leads to pancreatic agenesis, whereas heterozygous mutations can cause Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young 4 (MODY4). Although the function of Pdx1 is well studied in pre-clinical models during insulin-producing β-cell development and homeostasis, it remains elusive how this TF controls human pancreas development by regulating a downstream transcriptional program. Also, comparative studies of PDX1 binding patterns in pancreatic progenitors and adult β-cells have not been conducted so far. Furthermore, many studies reported the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and T2DM, and it has been shown that islet enhancers are enriched in T2DM-associated SNPs. Whether regions, harboring T2DM-associated SNPs are PDX1 bound and active at the pancreatic progenitor stage has not been reported so far.
METHODS - In this study, we have generated a novel induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line that efficiently differentiates into human pancreatic progenitors (PPs). Furthermore, PDX1 and H3K27ac chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) was used to identify PDX1 transcriptional targets and active enhancer and promoter regions. To address potential differences in the function of PDX1 during development and adulthood, we compared PDX1 binding profiles from PPs and adult islets. Moreover, combining ChIP-seq and GWAS meta-analysis data we identified T2DM-associated SNPs in PDX1 binding sites and active chromatin regions.
RESULTS - ChIP-seq for PDX1 revealed a total of 8088 PDX1-bound regions that map to 5664 genes in iPSC-derived PPs. The PDX1 target regions include important pancreatic TFs, such as PDX1 itself, RFX6, HNF1B, and MEIS1, which were activated during the differentiation process as revealed by the active chromatin mark H3K27ac and mRNA expression profiling, suggesting that auto-regulatory feedback regulation maintains PDX1 expression and initiates a pancreatic TF program. Remarkably, we identified several PDX1 target genes that have not been reported in the literature in human so far, including RFX3, required for ciliogenesis and endocrine differentiation in mouse, and the ligand of the Notch receptor DLL1, which is important for endocrine induction and tip-trunk patterning. The comparison of PDX1 profiles from PPs and adult human islets identified sets of stage-specific target genes, associated with early pancreas development and adult β-cell function, respectively. Furthermore, we found an enrichment of T2DM-associated SNPs in active chromatin regions from iPSC-derived PPs. Two of these SNPs fall into PDX1 occupied sites that are located in the intronic regions of TCF7L2 and HNF1B. Both of these genes are key transcriptional regulators of endocrine induction and mutations in cis-regulatory regions predispose to diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data provide stage-specific target genes of PDX1 during in vitro differentiation of stem cells into pancreatic progenitors that could be useful to identify pathways and molecular targets that predispose for diabetes. In addition, we show that T2DM-associated SNPs are enriched in active chromatin regions at the pancreatic progenitor stage, suggesting that the susceptibility to T2DM might originate from imperfect execution of a β-cell developmental program.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.
The transcription factors pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) and onecut1 (Oc1) are coexpressed in multipotent pancreatic progenitors (MPCs), but their expression patterns diverge in hormone-expressing cells, with Oc1 expression being extinguished in the endocrine lineage and Pdx1 being maintained at high levels in β-cells. We previously demonstrated that cooperative function of these two factors in MPCs is necessary for proper specification and differentiation of pancreatic endocrine cells. In those studies, we observed a persistent decrease in expression of the β-cell maturity factor MafA. We therefore hypothesized that Pdx1 and Oc1 cooperativity in MPCs impacts postnatal β-cell maturation and function. Here our model of Pdx1-Oc1 double heterozygosity was used to investigate the impact of haploinsufficiency for both of these factors on postnatal β-cell maturation, function, and adaptability. Examining mice at postnatal day (P) 14, we observed alterations in pancreatic insulin content in both Pdx1 heterozygotes and double heterozygotes. Gene expression analysis at this age revealed significantly decreased expression of many genes important for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (e.g., Glut2, Pcsk1/2, Abcc8) exclusively in double heterozygotes. Analysis of P14 islets revealed an increase in the number of mixed islets in double heterozygotes. We predicted that double-heterozygous β-cells would have an impaired ability to respond to stress. Indeed, we observed that β-cell proliferation fails to increase in double heterozygotes in response to either high-fat diet or placental lactogen. We thus report here the importance of cooperation between regulatory factors early in development for postnatal islet maturation and adaptability.
PDX1/NKX6-1 pancreatic progenitors (PPs) give rise to endocrine cells both in vitro and in vivo. This cell population can be successfully differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and hold the potential to generate an unlimited supply of β cells for diabetes treatment. However, the efficiency of PP generation in vitro is highly variable, negatively impacting reproducibility and validation of in vitro and in vivo studies, and consequently, translation to the clinic. Here, we report the use of a proteomics approach to phenotypically characterize hPSC-derived PPs and distinguish these cells from non-PP populations during differentiation. Our analysis identifies the pancreatic secretory granule membrane major glycoprotein 2 (GP2) as a PP-specific cell surface marker. Remarkably, GP2 is co-expressed with NKX6-1 and PTF1A in human developing pancreata, indicating that it marks the multipotent pancreatic progenitors in vivo. Finally, we show that isolated hPSC-derived GP2 cells generate β-like cells (C-PEPTIDE/NKX6-1) more efficiently compared to GP2 and unsorted populations, underlining the potential therapeutic applications of GP2.Pancreatic progenitors (PPs) can be derived from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro but efficiency of differentiation varies, making it hard to sort for insulin-producing cells. Here, the authors use a proteomic approach to identify the secretory granule membrane glycoprotein 2 as a marker for PDX1+/NKX6-1+ PPs.
The transcription factor encoded by the gene is a critical transcriptional regulator, as it has fundamental actions in the formation of all pancreatic cell types, islet β-cell development, and adult islet β-cell function. Transgenic- and cell line-based experiments have identified 5'-flanking conserved sequences that control pancreatic and β-cell type-specific transcription, which are found within areas I (bp -2694 to -2561), II (bp -2139 to -1958), III (bp -1879 to -1799), and IV (bp -6200 to -5670). Because of the presence in area IV of binding sites for transcription factors associated with pancreas development and islet cell function, we analyzed how an endogenous deletion mutant affected expression embryonically and postnatally. The most striking result was observed in male mutant mice after 3 weeks of birth (i.e., the onset of weaning), with only a small effect on pancreas organogenesis and no deficiencies in their female counterparts. Compromised Pdx1 mRNA and protein levels in weaned male mutant β-cells were tightly linked with hyperglycemia, decreased β-cell proliferation, reduced β-cell area, and altered expression of Pdx1-bound genes that are important in β-cell replication, endoplasmic reticulum function, and mitochondrial activity. We discuss the impact of these novel findings to gene regulation and islet β-cell maturation postnatally.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
Aberrant activation of embryonic signaling pathways is frequent in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), making developmental regulators therapeutically attractive. Here we demonstrate diverse functions for pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX1), a transcription factor indispensable for pancreas development, in the progression from normal exocrine cells to metastatic PDA. We identify a critical role for PDX1 in maintaining acinar cell identity, thus resisting the formation of pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN)-derived PDA. Upon neoplastic transformation, the role of PDX1 changes from tumor-suppressive to oncogenic. Interestingly, subsets of malignant cells lose PDX1 expression while undergoing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and PDX1 loss is associated with poor outcome. This stage-specific functionality arises from profound shifts in PDX1 chromatin occupancy from acinar cells to PDA. In summary, we report distinct roles of PDX1 at different stages of PDA, suggesting that therapeutic approaches against this potential target need to account for its changing functions at different stages of carcinogenesis. These findings provide insight into the complexity of PDA pathogenesis and advocate a rigorous investigation of therapeutically tractable targets at distinct phases of PDA development and progression.
© 2016 Roy et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.