ResearchPad - stem-cells-and-regenerative-medicine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Chromatin accessibility dynamics and single cell RNA-Seq reveal new regulators of regeneration in neural progenitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12735 Vertebrate appendage regeneration requires precisely coordinated remodeling of the transcriptional landscape to enable the growth and differentiation of new tissue, a process executed over multiple days and across dozens of cell types. The heterogeneity of tissues and temporally-sensitive fate decisions involved has made it difficult to articulate the gene regulatory programs enabling regeneration of individual cell types. To better understand how a regenerative program is fulfilled by neural progenitor cells (NPCs) of the spinal cord, we analyzed pax6-expressing NPCs isolated from regenerating Xenopus tropicalis tails. By intersecting chromatin accessibility data with single-cell transcriptomics, we find that NPCs place an early priority on neuronal differentiation. Late in regeneration, the priority returns to proliferation. Our analyses identify Pbx3 and Meis1 as critical regulators of tail regeneration and axon organization. Overall, we use transcriptional regulatory dynamics to present a new model for cell fate decisions and their regulators in NPCs during regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Tgfb3 collaborates with PP2A and notch signaling pathways to inhibit retina regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12716 Neuronal degeneration in the zebrafish retina stimulates Müller glia (MG) to proliferate and generate multipotent progenitors for retinal repair. Controlling this proliferation is critical to successful regeneration. Previous studies reported that retinal injury stimulates pSmad3 signaling in injury-responsive MG. Contrary to these findings, we report pSmad3 expression is restricted to quiescent MG and suppressed in injury-responsive MG. Our data indicates that Tgfb3 is the ligand responsible for regulating pSmad3 expression. Remarkably, although overexpression of either Tgfb1b or Tgfb3 can stimulate pSmad3 expression in the injured retina, only Tgfb3 inhibits injury-dependent MG proliferation; suggesting the involvement of a non-canonical Tgfb signaling pathway. Furthermore, inhibition of Alk5, PP2A or Notch signaling rescues MG proliferation in Tgfb3 overexpressing zebrafish. Finally, we report that this Tgfb3 signaling pathway is active in zebrafish MG, but not those in mice, which may contribute to the different regenerative capabilities of MG from fish and mammals.

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<![CDATA[Adult chondrogenesis and spontaneous cartilage repair in the skate, <i>Leucoraja erinacea</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8127 For our joints to move around freely, they are lubricated with cartilage. In growing mammals, this tissue is continuously made by the body. But, by adulthood, this cartilage will have been almost entirely replaced by bone. It is also difficult for adult bodies to replenish what cartilage does remain – such as that in the joints.

When growing new cartilage, the body uses so-called progenitor cells, which have the ability to turn into different cell types. Progenitor cells are recruited to the joints, where they transform into cartilage cells called chondrocytes, which generate new cartilage. But adults lack these progenitor cells, leaving them unfit to heal damaged cartilage after injury or diseases like osteoarthritis.

In contrast, certain groups of fishes, such as skates, sharks and rays, produce cartilage throughout their life — indeed their whole skeleton is made of cartilage. So, what is the difference between these cartilaginous fishes and mammals? Why can they generate cartilage throughout their lives, while humans are unable to? And does this mean that these adult fish are better at healing injured cartilage?

Marconi et al. used skates (Leucoraja erinacea) to study how cartilage develops, grows and heals in a cartilaginous fish. Progenitor cells were found in a layer that wraps around the cartilage skeleton (called the perichondrium). These cells were also shown to activate genes that control cartilage development. By labelling these progenitor cells, their presence and movements could be tracked around the fish. Marconi et al. found progenitor cells in adult skates that were able to generate chondrocytes. Skates were also shown to spontaneously repair damaged cartilage in experiments where cartilage was injured.

Marconi et al. have identified the skate as a new animal model for studying cartilage growth and repair. Studying the mechanisms that skate progenitor cells use for generating cartilage could lead to improvements in current therapies used for repairing cartilage in the joints.

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<![CDATA[Encouraging cartilage production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N964c4148-c45d-4588-a00d-7bc1bf088833 A long non-coding RNA called GRASLND is essential to help stem cells create stable cartilage.

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<![CDATA[Long non-coding RNA <i>GRASLND</i> enhances chondrogenesis via suppression of the interferon type II signaling pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5242e6dc-ba47-48e6-9c01-936773cb8dfa The roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in musculoskeletal development, disease, and regeneration remain poorly understood. Here, we identified the novel lncRNA GRASLND (originally named RNF144A-AS1) as a regulator of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) chondrogenesis. GRASLND, a primate-specific lncRNA, is upregulated during MSC chondrogenesis and appears to act directly downstream of SOX9, but not TGF-β3. We showed that the silencing of GRASLND resulted in lower accumulation of cartilage-like extracellular matrix in a pellet assay, while GRASLND overexpression – either via transgene ectopic expression or by endogenous activation via CRISPR-dCas9-VP64 – significantly enhanced cartilage matrix production. GRASLND acts to inhibit IFN-γ by binding to EIF2AK2, and we further demonstrated that GRASLND exhibits a protective effect in engineered cartilage against interferon type II. Our results indicate an important role of GRASLND in regulating stem cell chondrogenesis, as well as its therapeutic potential in the treatment of cartilage-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

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<![CDATA[Eya2 promotes cell cycle progression by regulating DNA damage response during vertebrate limb regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na8d3850e-2628-457d-875f-c01c44883b13

How salamanders accomplish progenitor cell proliferation while faithfully maintaining genomic integrity and regenerative potential remains elusive. Here we found an innate DNA damage response mechanism that is evident during blastema proliferation (early- to late-bud) and studied its role during tissue regeneration by ablating the function of one of its components, Eyes absent 2. In eya2 mutant axolotls, we found that DNA damage signaling through the H2AX histone variant was deregulated, especially within the proliferating progenitors during limb regeneration. Ultimately, cell cycle progression was impaired at the G1/S and G2/M transitions and regeneration rate was reduced. Similar data were acquired using acute pharmacological inhibition of the Eya2 phosphatase activity and the DNA damage checkpoint kinases Chk1 and Chk2 in wild-type axolotls. Together, our data indicate that highly-regenerative animals employ a robust DNA damage response pathway which involves regulation of H2AX phosphorylation via Eya2 to facilitate proper cell cycle progression upon injury.

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<![CDATA[Coordinated hedgehog signaling induces new hair follicles in adult skin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9c4f7b15-565a-4f2c-8265-117dbae4500c

Hair follicle (HF) development is orchestrated by coordinated signals from adjacent epithelial and mesenchymal cells. In humans this process only occurs during embryogenesis and viable strategies to induce new HFs in adult skin are lacking. Here, we reveal that activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in adjacent epithelial and stromal cells induces new HFs in adult, unwounded dorsal mouse skin. Formation of de novo HFs recapitulated embryonic HF development, and mature follicles produced hair co-occurring with epithelial tumors. In contrast, Hh-pathway activation in epithelial or stromal cells alone resulted in tumor formation or stromal cell condensation respectively, without induction of new HFs. Provocatively, adjacent epithelial-stromal Hh-pathway activation induced de novo HFs also in hairless paw skin, divorced from confounding effects of pre-existing niche signals in haired skin. Altogether, cell-type-specific modulation of a single pathway is sufficient to reactivate embryonic programs in adult tissues, thereby inducing complex epithelial structures even without wounding.

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<![CDATA[Cohesin controls intestinal stem cell identity by maintaining association of Escargot with target promoters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N7c9dd63b-1d87-4f45-aed1-2d5101765e9f

Intestinal stem cells (ISCs) maintain regenerative capacity of the intestinal epithelium. Their function and activity are regulated by transcriptional changes, yet how such changes are coordinated at the genomic level remains unclear. The Cohesin complex regulates transcription globally by generating topologically-associated DNA domains (TADs) that link promotor regions with distant enhancers. We show here that the Cohesin complex prevents premature differentiation of Drosophila ISCs into enterocytes (ECs). Depletion of the Cohesin subunit Rad21 and the loading factor Nipped-B triggers an ISC to EC differentiation program that is independent of Notch signaling, but can be rescued by over-expression of the ISC-specific escargot (esg) transcription factor. Using damID and transcriptomic analysis, we find that Cohesin regulates Esg binding to promoters of differentiation genes, including a group of Notch target genes involved in ISC differentiation. We propose that Cohesin ensures efficient Esg-dependent gene repression to maintain stemness and intestinal homeostasis.

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<![CDATA[Single-cell analysis uncovers that metabolic reprogramming by ErbB2 signaling is essential for cardiomyocyte proliferation in the regenerating heart]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4e4c8dec-9ad2-4881-acaa-3b76a33176b9

While the heart regenerates poorly in mammals, efficient heart regeneration occurs in zebrafish. Studies in zebrafish have resulted in a model in which preexisting cardiomyocytes dedifferentiate and reinitiate proliferation to replace the lost myocardium. To identify which processes occur in proliferating cardiomyocytes we have used a single-cell RNA-sequencing approach. We uncovered that proliferating border zone cardiomyocytes have very distinct transcriptomes compared to the nonproliferating remote cardiomyocytes and that they resemble embryonic cardiomyocytes. Moreover, these cells have reduced expression of mitochondrial genes and reduced mitochondrial activity, while glycolysis gene expression and glucose uptake are increased, indicative for metabolic reprogramming. Furthermore, we find that the metabolic reprogramming of border zone cardiomyocytes is induced by Nrg1/ErbB2 signaling and is important for their proliferation. This mechanism is conserved in murine hearts in which cardiomyocyte proliferation is induced by activating ErbB2 signaling. Together these results demonstrate that glycolysis regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation during heart regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional landscape of myogenesis from human pluripotent stem cells reveals a key role of TWIST1 in maintenance of skeletal muscle progenitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N593d86a6-5262-4dc2-a035-df11c396a68e

Generation of skeletal muscle cells with human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) opens new avenues for deciphering essential, but poorly understood aspects of transcriptional regulation in human myogenic specification. In this study, we characterized the transcriptional landscape of distinct human myogenic stages, including OCT4::EGFP+ pluripotent stem cells, MSGN1::EGFP+ presomite cells, PAX7::EGFP+ skeletal muscle progenitor cells, MYOG::EGFP+ myoblasts, and multinucleated myotubes. We defined signature gene expression profiles from each isolated cell population with unbiased clustering analysis, which provided unique insights into the transcriptional dynamics of human myogenesis from undifferentiated hPSCs to fully differentiated myotubes. Using a knock-out strategy, we identified TWIST1 as a critical factor in maintenance of human PAX7::EGFP+ putative skeletal muscle progenitor cells. Our data revealed a new role of TWIST1 in human skeletal muscle progenitors, and we have established a foundation to identify transcriptional regulations of human myogenic ontogeny (online database can be accessed in http://www.myogenesis.net/).

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<![CDATA[Multiplex CRISPR/Cas screen in regenerating haploid limbs of chimeric Axolotls]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N60459f87-cd03-4c1a-bbfe-e81ea22c466f

Axolotls and other salamanders can regenerate entire limbs after amputation as adults, and much recent effort has sought to identify the molecular programs controlling this process. While targeted mutagenesis approaches like CRISPR/Cas9 now permit gene-level investigation of these mechanisms, genetic screening in the axolotl requires an extensive commitment of time and space. Previously, we quantified CRISPR/Cas9-generated mutations in the limbs of mosaic mutant axolotls before and after regeneration and found that the regenerated limb is a highfidelity replicate of the original limb (Flowers et al. 2017). Here, we circumvent aforementioned genetic screening limitations and present methods for a multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 haploid screen in chimeric axolotls (MuCHaChA), which is a novel platform for haploid genetic screening in animals to identify genes essential for limb regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Late developing cardiac lymphatic vasculature supports adult zebrafish heart function and regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf1bd8a8b-2d9d-480c-9adb-fd9c2b2e977a

The cardiac lymphatic vascular system and its potentially critical functions in heart patients have been largely underappreciated, in part due to a lack of experimentally accessible systems. We here demonstrate that cardiac lymphatic vessels develop in young adult zebrafish, using coronary arteries to guide their expansion down the ventricle. Mechanistically, we show that in cxcr4a mutants with defective coronary artery development, cardiac lymphatic vessels fail to expand onto the ventricle. In regenerating adult zebrafish hearts the lymphatic vasculature undergoes extensive lymphangiogenesis in response to a cryoinjury. A significant defect in reducing the scar size after cryoinjury is observed in zebrafish with impaired Vegfc/Vegfr3 signaling that fail to develop intact cardiac lymphatic vessels. These results suggest that the cardiac lymphatic system can influence the regenerative potential of the myocardium.

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<![CDATA[Embryonic hematopoiesis modulates the inflammatory response and larval hematopoiesis in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5bcba2463d7e239cf0e974

Recent lineage tracing analyses have significantly improved our understanding of immune system development and highlighted the importance of the different hematopoietic waves. The current challenge is to understand whether these waves interact and whether this affects the function of the immune system. Here we report a molecular pathway regulating the immune response and involving the communication between embryonic and larval hematopoietic waves in Drosophila. Down-regulating the transcription factor Gcm specific to embryonic hematopoiesis enhances the larval phenotypes induced by over-expressing the pro-inflammatory Jak/Stat pathway or by wasp infestation. Gcm works by modulating the transduction of the Upd cytokines to the site of larval hematopoiesis and hence the response to chronic (Jak/Stat over-expression) and acute (wasp infestation) immune challenges. Thus, homeostatic interactions control the function of the immune system in physiology and pathology. Our data also indicate that a transiently expressed developmental pathway has a long-lasting effect on the immune response.

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<![CDATA[Folding mutations suppress early beta-cell proliferation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ec81dd5eed0c484b3c430

Exploring how proliferation and maturation of beta-cells can be impaired after birth will shed light on the origins of various forms of diabetes.

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<![CDATA[Insulin mutations impair beta-cell development in a patient-derived iPSC model of neonatal diabetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ec828d5eed0c484b3c68f

Insulin gene mutations are a leading cause of neonatal diabetes. They can lead to proinsulin misfolding and its retention in endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This results in increased ER-stress suggested to trigger beta-cell apoptosis. In humans, the mechanisms underlying beta-cell failure remain unclear. Here we show that misfolded proinsulin impairs developing beta-cell proliferation without increasing apoptosis. We generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from people carrying insulin (INS) mutations, engineered isogenic CRISPR-Cas9 mutation-corrected lines and differentiated them to beta-like cells. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis showed increased ER-stress and reduced proliferation in INS-mutant beta-like cells compared with corrected controls. Upon transplantation into mice, INS-mutant grafts presented reduced insulin secretion and aggravated ER-stress. Cell size, mTORC1 signaling, and respiratory chain subunits expression were all reduced in INS-mutant beta-like cells, yet apoptosis was not increased at any stage. Our results demonstrate that neonatal diabetes-associated INS-mutations lead to defective beta-cell mass expansion, contributing to diabetes development.

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<![CDATA[Adult zebrafish Langerhans cells arise from hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5b2dd3463d7e186098e4b0

The origin of Langerhans cells (LCs), which are skin epidermis-resident macrophages, remains unclear. Current lineage tracing of LCs largely relies on the promoter-Cre-LoxP system, which often gives rise to contradictory conclusions with different promoters. Thus, reinvestigation with an improved tracing method is necessary. Here, using a laser-mediated temporal-spatial resolved cell labeling method, we demonstrated that most adult LCs originated from the ventral wall of the dorsal aorta (VDA), an equivalent to the mouse aorta, gonads, and mesonephros (AGM), where both hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and non-HSC progenitors are generated. Further fine-fate mapping analysis revealed that the appearance of LCs in adult zebrafish was correlated with the development of HSCs, but not T cell progenitors. Finally, we showed that the appearance of tissue-resident macrophages in the brain, liver, heart, and gut of adult zebrafish was also correlated with HSCs. Thus, the results of our study challenged the EMP-origin theory for LCs.

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<![CDATA[Dpp dependent Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to Hh dependent blood progenitors in larval lymph gland of Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b296275463d7e7f6b755984

Drosophila hematopoiesis bears striking resemblance with that of vertebrates, both in the context of distinct phases and the signaling molecules. Even though, there has been no evidence of Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in Drosophila, the larval lymph gland with its Hedgehog dependent progenitors served as an invertebrate model of progenitor biology. Employing lineage-tracing analyses, we have now identified Notch expressing HSCs in the first instar larval lymph gland. Our studies clearly establish the hierarchical relationship between Notch expressing HSCs and the previously described Domeless expressing progenitors. These HSCs require Decapentapelagic (Dpp) signal from the hematopoietic niche for their maintenance in an identical manner to vertebrate aorta-gonadal-mesonephros (AGM) HSCs. Thus, this study not only extends the conservation across these divergent taxa, but also provides a new model that can be exploited to gain better insight into the AGM related Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).

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<![CDATA[The novel lncRNA lnc-NR2F1 is pro-neurogenic and mutated in human neurodevelopmental disorders]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8016ebd5eed0c484aa1769

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to act as important cell biological regulators including cell fate decisions but are often ignored in human genetics. Combining differential lncRNA expression during neuronal lineage induction with copy number variation morbidity maps of a cohort of children with autism spectrum disorder/intellectual disability versus healthy controls revealed focal genomic mutations affecting several lncRNA candidate loci. Here we find that a t(5:12) chromosomal translocation in a family manifesting neurodevelopmental symptoms disrupts specifically lnc-NR2F1. We further show that lnc-NR2F1 is an evolutionarily conserved lncRNA functionally enhances induced neuronal cell maturation and directly occupies and regulates transcription of neuronal genes including autism-associated genes. Thus, integrating human genetics and functional testing in neuronal lineage induction is a promising approach for discovering candidate lncRNAs involved in neurodevelopmental diseases.

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