JAK/STAT3 regulated global gene expression dynamics during late-stage reprogramming process

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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: The generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has underdefined mechanisms. In addition, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) activated Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (JAK/STAT3) pathway is the master regulator for naïve-state pluripotency achievement and maintenance. However, the regulatory process to attain naïve pluripotent iPSCs is not well understood. Results: We performed transcriptome analysis to dissect the genomic expression during mouse iPSC induction, with or without blocking the JAK/STAT3 activity. We describe JAK/STAT3 signaling-specific biological events such as gametogenesis, meiotic/mitotic cell cycle, and DNA repair, and JAK/STAT3-dependent expression of key transcription factors such as the naïve pluripotency-specific genes, developmental pluripotency associated (Dppa) family, along with histone modifiers and non-coding RNAs in reprogramming. We discover that JAK/STAT3 activity does not affect early phase mesenchymal to epithelial transition (MET) but is necessary for proper imprinting of the Dlk1-Dio3 region, an essential event for pluripotency achievement at late-reprogramming stage. This correlates with the JAK/STAT3-dependent stimulation of Dppa3 and Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) genes. We further demonstrate that JAK/STAT3 activity is essential for DNA demethylation of pluripotent loci including Oct4, Nanog, and the Dlk1-Dio3 regions. These findings correlate well with the previously identified STAT3 direct targets. We further propose a model of pluripotency achievement regulated by JAK/STAT3 signaling during the reprogramming process. Conclusions: Our study illustrates novel insights for JAK/STAT3 promoted pluripotency establishment, which are valuable for further improving the naïve-pluripotent iPSC generation across different species including humans.

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BMC Genomics

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