Modulation of β-catenin function maintains mouse epiblast stem cell and human embryonic stem cell self-renewal

Hoon Kim, Jun Wu, Shoudong Ye, Chih I. Tai, Xingliang Zhou, Hexin Yan, Ping Li, Martin Pera, Qi Long Ying

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

92 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wnt/β-catenin signalling has a variety of roles in regulating stem cell fates. Its specific role in mouse epiblast stem cell self-renewal, however, remains poorly understood. Here we show that Wnt/β-catenin functions in both self-renewal and differentiation in mouse epiblast stem cells. Stabilization and nuclear translocation of β-catenin and its subsequent binding to T-cell factors induces differentiation. Conversely, retention of stabilized β-catenin in the cytoplasm maintains self-renewal. Cytoplasmic retention of β-catenin is effected by stabilization of Axin2, a downstream target of β-catenin, or by genetic modifications to β-catenin that prevent its nuclear translocation. We also find that human embryonic stem cell and mouse epiblast stem cell fates are regulated by β-catenin through similar mechanisms. Our results elucidate a new role for β-catenin in stem cell self-renewal that is independent of its transcriptional activity and will have broad implications in understanding the molecular regulation of stem cell fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2403
JournalNature communications
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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