Idax and Rinf facilitate expression of Tet enzymes to promote neural and suppress trophectodermal programs during differentiation of embryonic stem cells

Antoine Abou-Jaoude, Cheng Yen Huang, Julio C. Flores, Mirunalini Ravichandran, Run Lei, Stephanie Chrysanthou, Meelad M. Dawlaty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Inhibitor of disheveled and axin (Idax) and its ortholog the Retinoid inducible nuclear factor (Rinf) are DNA binding proteins with nuclear and cytoplasmic functions. Rinf is expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) where it regulates transcription of the Ten-eleven translocation (Tet) enzymes, promoting neural and suppressing mesendoderm/trophectoderm differentiation. Here, we find that Idax, which is not expressed in ESCs, is induced upon differentiation. Like Rinf, Idax facilitates neural and silences trophectodermal programs. Individual or combined loss of Idax and Rinf led to downregulation of neural and upregulation of trophectoderm markers during differentiation of ESCs to embryoid bodies as well as during directed differentiation of ESCs to neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and trophoblast-like cells. These defects resemble those of Tet-deficient ESCs. Consistently, Tet genes are direct targets of Idax and Rinf, and loss of Idax and Rinf led to downregulation of Tet enzymes during ESC differentiation to NPCs and trophoblast-like cells. While Idax and Rinf single and double knockout (DKO) mice were viable and overtly normal, DKO embryos had reduced expression of several NPC markers in embryonic forebrains and deregulated expression of selected trophoblast markers in placentas. NPCs derived from DKO forebrains had reduced self-renewal while DKO placentas had increased junctional zone and reduced labyrinth layers. Together, our findings establish Idax and Rinf as regulators of Tet enzymes for proper differentiation of ESCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102770
JournalStem Cell Research
Volume61
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Differentiation
  • ESC
  • Idax
  • NPC
  • Rinf
  • Tet enzymes
  • Trophoblast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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