DUSP6 is a memory retention feedback regulator of ERK signaling for cellular resilience of human pluripotent stem cells in response to dissociation


Cultured human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) grow as colonies that require breakdown into small clumps for further propagation. Although cell death mechanism by single-cell dissociation of hPSCs has been well defined, how hPSCs respond to the deadly stimulus and recover the original status remains unclear. Here we show that dissociation of hPSCs immediately activates ERK, which subsequently activates RSK and induces DUSP6, an ERK-specific phosphatase. Although the activation is transient, DUSP6 expression persists days after passaging. DUSP6 depletion using the CRISPR/Cas9 system reveals that DUSP6 suppresses the ERK activity over the long term. Elevated ERK activity by DUSP6 depletion increases both viability of hPSCs after single-cell dissociation and differentiation propensity towards mesoderm and endoderm lineages. These findings provide new insights into how hPSCs respond to dissociation in order to maintain pluripotency. © 2023. The Author(s).

Authors Yoo DH, Im YS, Oh JY, Gil D, Kim YO
Journal Scientific reports
Publication Date 2023 Apr 7;13(1):5683
PubMed 37029196
PubMed Central PMC10082014
DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-32567-8

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