The neonatal mammalian heart is capable of substantial regeneration following injury through cardiomyocyte proliferation(1,2). However, this regenerative capacity is lost by postnatal day 7 and the mechanisms of cardiomyocyte cell cycle arrest remain unclear. The homeodomain transcription factor Meis1 is required for normal cardiac development but its role in cardiomyocytes is unknown(3,4). Here we identify Meis1 as a critical regulator of the cardiomyocyte cell cycle. Meis1 deletion in mouse cardiomyocytes was sufficient for extension of the postnatal proliferative window of cardiomyocytes, and for re-activation of cardiomyocyte mitosis in the adult heart with no deleterious effect on cardiac function. In contrast, overexpression of Meis1 in cardiomyocytes decreased neonatal myocyte proliferation and inhibited neonatal heart regeneration. Finally, we show that Meis1 is required for transcriptional activation of the synergistic CDK inhibitors p15, p16 and p21. These results identify Meis1 as a critical transcriptional regulator of cardiomyocyte proliferation and a potential therapeutic target for heart regeneration.
The HTRA1 gene encoding an evolutionary conserved protein quality-control factor can be epigenetically silenced or inactivated by mutation under pathologic conditions such as cancer. Recent evidence suggests that the loss of HTRA1 function causes multiple phenotypes, including the acceleration of cell growth, delayed onset of senescence, centrosome amplification, and polyploidy, suggesting an implication in the regulation of the cell cycle. To address this model, we performed a large-scale proteomics study to correlate the abundance of proteins and HTRA1 levels in various cell cycle phases using label-free-quantification mass spectrometry. These data indicate that the levels of 4723 proteins fluctuated in a cell-cycle dependent manner, 2872 in a HTRA1-dependent manner, and 1530 in a cell-cycle- and HTRA1-dependent manner. The large number of proteins affected by the modulation of HTRA1 levels supports its general role in protein homeostasis. Moreover, the detected changes in protein abundance, in combination with pull-down data, implicate HTRA1 in various cell cycle events such as DNA replication, chromosome segregation, and cell-cycle-dependent apoptosis. These results highlight the wide implications of HTRA1 in cellular physiology.
Chromosomes in proliferating metazoan cells undergo marked structural metamorphoses every cell cycle, alternating between highly condensed mitotic structures that facilitate chromosome segregation, and decondensed interphase structures that accommodate transcription, gene silencing and DNA replication. Here we use single-cell Hi-C (high-resolution chromosome conformation capture) analysis to study chromosome conformations in thousands of individual cells, and discover a continuum of cis-interaction profiles that finely position individual cells along the cell cycle. We show that chromosomal compartments, topological-associated domains (TADs), contact insulation and long-range loops, all defined by bulk Hi-C maps, are governed by distinct cell-cycle dynamics. In particular, DNA replication correlates with a build-up of compartments and a reduction in TAD insulation, while loops are generally stable from G1 to S and G2 phase. Whole-genome three-dimensional structural models reveal a radial architecture of chromosomal compartments with distinct epigenomic signatures. Our single-cell data therefore allow re-interpretation of chromosome conformation maps through the prism of the cell cycle.
Cell cycle cytometry and analysis are essential tools for studying cells of model organisms and natural populations (e.g., bone marrow). Methods have not changed much for many years. The simplest and most common protocol is DNA content analysis, which is extensively published and reviewed. The next most common protocol, 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine S phase labeling detected by specific antibodies, is also well published and reviewed. More recently, S phase labeling using 5'-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation and a chemical reaction to label substituted DNA has been established as a basic, reliable protocol. Multiple antibody labeling to detect epitopes on cell cycle regulated proteins, which is what this chapter is about, is the most complex of these cytometric cell cycle assays, requiring knowledge of the chemistry of fixation, the biochemistry of antibody-antigen reactions, and spectral compensation. However, because this knowledge is relatively well presented methodologically in many papers and reviews, this chapter will present a minimal Methods section for one mammalian cell type and an extended Notes section, focusing on aspects that are problematic or not well described in the literature. Most of the presented work involves how to segment the data to produce a complete, progressive, and compartmentalized cell cycle analysis from early G1 to late mitosis (telophase). A more recent development, using fluorescent proteins fused with proteins or peptides that are degraded by ubiquitination during specific periods of the cell cycle, termed "Fucci" (fluorescent, ubiquitination-based cell cycle indicators) provide an analysis similar in concept to multiple antibody labeling, except in this case cells can be analyzed while living and transgenic organisms can be created to perform cell cycle analysis ex or in vivo (Sakaue-Sawano et al., Cell 132:487-498, 2007). This technology will not be discussed.
Stem cell self-renewal is intrinsically associated with cell cycle control. However, the precise mechanisms coordinating cell fate choices and cell cycle remain to be fully uncovered. Now in , and colleagues demonstrate that factors controlling the G2/M phase are necessary to block pluripotency upon induction of differentiation.
The cell-cycle transition from G to S phase has been difficult to visualize. We have harnessed antiphase oscillating proteins that mark cell-cycle transitions in order to develop genetically encoded fluorescent probes for this purpose. These probes effectively label individual G phase nuclei red and those in S/G /M phases green. We were able to generate cultured cells and transgenic mice constitutively expressing the cell-cycle probes, in which every cell nucleus exhibits either red or green fluorescence. We performed time-lapse imaging to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of cell-cycle dynamics during the epithelial-mesenchymal transition of cultured cells, the migration and differentiation of neural progenitors in brain slices, and the development of tumors across blood vessels in live mice. These mice and cell lines will serve as model systems permitting unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution to help us better understand how the cell cycle is coordinated with various biological events.
Self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells are fundamentally associated with cell-cycle progression to enable tissue specification, organ homeostasis, and potentially tumorigenesis. However, technical challenges have impaired the study of the molecular interactions coordinating cell fate choice and cell-cycle progression. Here, we bypass these limitations by using the FUCCI reporter system in human pluripotent stem cells and show that their capacity of differentiation varies during the progression of their cell cycle. These mechanisms are governed by the cell-cycle regulators cyclin D1–3 that control differentiation signals such as the TGF-β-Smad2/3 pathway. Conversely, cell-cycle manipulation using a small molecule directs differentiation of hPSCs and provides an approach to generate cell types with a clinical interest. Our results demonstrate that cell fate decisions are tightly associated with the cell-cycle machinery and reveal insights in the mechanisms synchronizing differentiation and proliferation in developing tissues. Cell fate decisions are influenced by the cell-cycle state and cyclin D activity of a stem cell as it embarks on differentiation. Cyclin D acts via TGF-β-Smad signaling to alter the propensity for endoderm versus neuroectoderm fate.
Low-density lipoprotein receptor related proteins 5 and 6 (LRP5/6) are transmembrane receptors that initiate Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Phosphorylation of PPPSP motifs in the LRP6 cytoplasmic domain is crucial for signal transduction. Using a kinome-wide RNAi screen, we show that PPPSP phosphorylation requires the Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) L63. L63 and its vertebrate homolog PFTK are regulated by the membrane tethered G2/M Cyclin, Cyclin Y, which mediates binding to and phosphorylation of LRP6. As a consequence, LRP6 phosphorylation and Wnt/β-catenin signaling are under cell cycle control and peak at G2/M phase; knockdown of the mitotic regulator CDC25/string, which results in G2/M arrest, enhances Wnt signaling in a Cyclin Y-dependent manner. In embryos, Cyclin Y is required in vivo for LRP6 phosphorylation, maternal Wnt signaling, and Wnt-dependent anteroposterior embryonic patterning. G2/M priming of LRP6 by a Cyclin/CDK complex introduces an unexpected new layer of regulation of Wnt signaling.
Most RNAs generated by the human genome have no protein-coding ability and are termed non-coding RNAs. Among these include circular RNAs, which include exonic circular RNAs (circRNA), mainly found in the cytoplasm, and intronic RNAs (ciRNA), predominantly detected in the nucleus. The biological functions of circular RNAs remain largely unknown, although ciRNAs have been reported to promote gene transcription, while circRNAs may function as microRNA sponges. We demonstrate that the circular RNA circ-Foxo3 was highly expressed in non-cancer cells and were associated with cell cycle progression. Silencing endogenous circ-Foxo3 promoted cell proliferation. Ectopic expression of circ-Foxo3 repressed cell cycle progression by binding to the cell cycle proteins cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (also known as cell division protein kinase 2 or CDK2) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (or p21), resulting in the formation of a ternary complex. Normally, CDK2 interacts with cyclin A and cyclin E to facilitate cell cycle entry, while p21works to inhibit these interactions and arrest cell cycle progression. The formation of this circ-Foxo3-p21-CDK2 ternary complex arrested the function of CDK2 and blocked cell cycle progression.