PloS one

Cell cycle-dependent expression of Dub3, Nanog and the p160 family of nuclear receptor coactivators (NCoAs) in mouse embryonic stem cells.

PMID 24695638


Pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESC) is tightly regulated by a network of transcription factors among which the estrogen-related receptor β (Esrrb). Esrrb contributes to the relaxation of the G1 to S-phase (G1/S) checkpoint in mouse ESCs by transcriptional control of the deubiquitylase Dub3 gene, contributing to Cdc25A persistence after DNA damage. We show that in mESCs, Dub3 gene expression is cell cycle regulated and is maximal prior G1/S transition. In addition, following UV-induced DNA damage in G1, Dub3 expression markedly increases in S-phase also suggesting a role in checkpoint recovery. Unexpectedly, we also observed cell cycle-regulation of Nanog expression, and not Oct4, reaching high levels prior to G1/S transition, finely mirroring Cyclin E1 fluctuations. Curiously, while Esrrb showed only limited cell-cycle oscillations, transcript levels of the p160 family of nuclear receptor coactivators (NCoAs) displayed strong cell cycle-dependent fluctuations. Since NCoAs function in concert with Esrrb in transcriptional activation, we focussed on NCoA1 whose levels specifically increase prior onset of Dub3 transcription. Using a reporter assay, we show that NCoA1 potentiates Esrrb-mediated transcription of Dub3 and we present evidence of protein interaction between the SRC1 splice variant NCoA1 and Esrrb. Finally, we show a differential developmental regulation of all members of the p160 family during neural conversion of mESCs. These findings suggest that in mouse ESCs, changes in the relative concentration of a coactivator at a given cell cycle phase, may contribute to modulation of the transcriptional activity of the core transcription factors of the pluripotent network and be implicated in cell fate decisions upon onset of differentiation.