Functional perturbation and action mechanism studies have shown that the transcription factor Zeb2 controls cell fate decisions, differentiation, and/or maturation in multiple cell lineages in embryos and after birth. In cultured embryonic stem cells (ESCs), Zeb2’s mRNA/protein upregulation is necessary for the exit from primed pluripotency and for entering general and neural differentiation. We edited mouse ESCs to produce Flag-V5 epitope-tagged Zeb2 protein from one endogenous allele. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with sequencing (ChIP-seq), we mapped 2432 DNA-binding sites for this tagged Zeb2 in ESC-derived neuroprogenitor cells (NPCs). A new, major binding site maps promoter-proximal to Zeb2 itself. The homozygous deletion of this site demonstrates that autoregulation of Zeb2 is necessary to elicit the appropriate Zeb2-dependent effects in ESC-to-NPC differentiation. We have also cross-referenced all the mapped Zeb2 binding sites with previously obtained transcriptome data from Zeb2 perturbations in ESC-derived NPCs, GABAergic interneurons from the ventral forebrain of mouse embryos, and stem/progenitor cells from the post-natal ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) in mouse forebrain, respectively. Despite the different characteristics of each of these neurogenic systems, we found interesting target gene overlaps. In addition, our study also contributes to explaining developmental disorders, including Mowat-Wilson syndrome caused by ZEB2 deficiency, and also other monogenic syndromes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded mainly by Erasmus University Medical Center via departmental funds, extra funds coordinated with its Executive Board, and BIG project funding, a collaborative extra support between Erasmus University Rotterdam and its University Medical Center for promoting fundamental research at the Theme of Biomedical Sciences, and hence the Department of Cell Biology.
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