STAT3 modulates reprogramming efficiency of human somatic cells; insights from autosomal dominant Hyper IgE syndrome caused by STAT3 mutations


Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology has opened exciting opportunities for stem-cell-based therapy. However, its wide adoption is precluded by several challenges including low reprogramming efficiency and potential for malignant transformation. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the changes that cells undergo during reprograming is needed to improve iPSCs generation efficiency and to increase confidence for their clinical use safety. Here, we find that dominant negative mutations in STAT3 in patients with autosomal-dominant hyper IgE (Job's) syndrome (AD-HIES) result in greatly reduced reprograming efficiency of primary skin fibroblasts derived from skin biopsies. Analysis of normal skin fibroblasts revealed upregulation and phosphorylation of endogenous signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and its binding to the NANOG promoter following transduction with OKSM factors. This coincided with upregulation of NANOG and appearance of cells expressing pluripotency markers. Upregulation of NANOG and number of pluripotent cells were greatly reduced throughout the reprograming process of AD-HIES fibroblasts that was restored by over-expression of functional STAT3. NANOGP8, the human-specific NANOG retrogene that is often expressed in human cancers, was also induced during reprogramming, to very low but detectable levels, in a STAT3-dependent manner. Our study revealed the critical role of endogenous STAT3 in facilitating reprogramming of human somatic cells. © 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Authors Yu Z, Dmitrieva NI, Walts AD, Jin H, Liu Y, Ping X, Ferrante EA, Qiu L, Holland SM, Freeman AF, Chen G, Boehm M
Journal Biology open
Publication Date 2020 Sep 10;9(9)
PubMed 32580970
PubMed Central PMC7502598
DOI 10.1242/bio.052662

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