Histone ubiquitination at DNA breaks is required for activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA repair. How the dynamic removal of this modification by deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) impacts genome maintenance in vivo is largely unknown. To address this question, we generated mice deficient for Ub-specific protease 3 (USP3; Usp3?/?), a histone H2A DUB which negatively regulates ubiquitin-dependent DDR signaling. Notably, USP3 deletion increased the levels of histone ubiquitination in adult tissues, reduced the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) reserves over time, and shortened animal life span. Mechanistically, our data show that USP3 is important in HSC homeostasis, preserving HSC self-renewal, and repopulation potential in vivo and proliferation in vitro. A defective DDR and unresolved spontaneous DNA damage contribute to cell cycle restriction of Usp3?/? HSCs. Beyond the hematopoietic system, Usp3?/? animals spontaneously developed tumors, and primary Usp3?/? cells failed to preserve chromosomal integrity. These findings broadly support the regulation of chromatin ubiquitination as a key pathway in preserving tissue function through modulation of the response to genotoxic stress.
Despite intense investigation of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate pluripotency, the process of initial fate commitment of embryonic stem (ES) cells is still poorly understood. We used a genome-wide short hairpin RNA screen in mouse ES cells to identify genes that are essential for initiation of differentiation. Knockdown of the scaffolding protein Mek binding protein 1 (Mp1, also known as Lamtor3 or Map2k1ip1) stimulated self-renewal of ES cells, blocked differentiation, and promoted proliferation. Fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4) signaling is required for initial fate commitment of ES cells. Knockdown of Mp1 inhibited FGF4-induced differentiation but did not alter FGF4-driven proliferation. This uncoupling of differentiation and proliferation was also observed when oncogenic Ras isoforms were overexpressed in ES cells. Knockdown of Mp1 redirected FGF4 signaling from differentiation toward pluripotency and up-regulated the pluripotency-related genes Esrrb, Rex1, Tcl1, and Sox2. We also found that human germ cell tumors (GCTs) express low amounts of Mp1 in the invasive embryonic carcinoma and seminoma histologies and higher amounts of Mp1 in the noninvasive carcinoma in situ precursor and differentiated components. Knockdown of Mp1 in invasive GCT cells resulted in resistance to differentiation, thereby showing a functional role for Mp1 both in normal differentiation of ES cells and in germ cell cancer.
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins bind and regulate hundreds of genes. Previous evidence has suggested that long-range chromatin interactions may contribute to the regulation of PcG target genes. Here, we adapted the Chromosome Conformation Capture on Chip (4C) assay to systematically map chromosomal interactions in Drosophila melanogaster larval brain tissue. Our results demonstrate that PcG target genes interact extensively with each other in nuclear space. These interactions are highly specific for PcG target genes, because non-target genes with either low or high expression show distinct interactions. Notably, interactions are mostly limited to genes on the same chromosome arm, and we demonstrate that a topological rather than a sequence-based mechanism is responsible for this constraint. Our results demonstrate that many interactions among PcG target genes exist and that these interactions are guided by overall chromosome architecture.
Bmi1 is a member of the polycomb repressive complex 1 and plays different roles during embryonic development, depending on the developmental context. Bmi1 over expression is observed in many types of cancer, including tumors of astroglial and neural origin. Although genetic depletion of Bmi1 has been described to result in tumor inhibitory effects partly through INK4A/Arf mediated senescence and apoptosis and also through INK4A/Arf independent effects, it has not been proven that Bmi1 can be causally involved in the formation of these tumors. To see whether this is the case, we developed two conditional Bmi1 transgenic models that were crossed with GFAP-Cre mice to activate transgenic expression in neural and glial lineages. We show here that these mice generate intermediate and anterior lobe pituitary tumors that are positive for ACTH and beta-endorphin. Combined transgenic expression of Bmi1 together with conditional loss of Rb resulted in pituitary tumors but was insufficient to induce medulloblastoma therefore indicating that the oncogenic function of Bmi1 depends on regulation of p16(INK4A)/Rb rather than on regulation of p19(ARF)/p53. Human pituitary adenomas show Bmi1 overexpression in over 50% of the cases, which indicates that Bmi1 could be causally involved in formation of these tumors similarly as in our mouse model.
Chromosomes are protein-DNA complexes that encode life. In a cell nucleus, chromosomes are folded in a highly specific manner, which connects strongly to some of their paramount functions, such as DNA replication and gene transcription. Chromosome conformation capture methodologies allow researchers to detect chromosome folding, by quantitatively measuring which genomic sequences are in close proximity in nuclear space. Here, we describe a modified chromosome conformation capture on chip (4C) protocol, which is specifically designed for detection of chromosome folding in a single Drosophila melanogaster tissue. Our protocol enables 4C analyses on a limited number of cells, which is crucial for fly tissues, because these contain relatively low numbers of cells. We used this protocol to demonstrate that target genes of Polycomb group proteins interact with each other in nuclear space of third instar larval brain cells. Major benefits of using D. melanogaster in 4C studies are: (1) powerful and tractable genetic approaches can be incorporated; (2) short generation time allows use of complex genotypes; and (3) compact and well annotated genome. We anticipate that our sensitized 4C method will be generally applicable to detect chromosome folding in other fly tissues.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.