Kartikasari, Apriliana E R2; Zhou, Josie X2; Kanji, Murtaza S2; Chan, David N2; Sinha, Arjun2; Grapin-Botton, Anne3; Magnuson, Mark A2; Lowry, William E2; Bhushan, Anil2
1 Developmental biology - endoderm and pancreas development Lab, The Danish Stem Cell Center, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Developmental biology - endoderm and pancreas development Lab, The Danish Stem Cell Center, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Stem cell differentiation depends on transcriptional activation driven by lineage-specific regulators as well as changes in chromatin organization. However, the coordination of these events is poorly understood. Here, we show that T-box proteins team up with chromatin modifying enzymes to drive the expression of the key lineage regulator, Eomes during endodermal differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The Eomes locus is maintained in a transcriptionally poised configuration in ES cells. During early differentiation steps, the ES cell factor Tbx3 associates with the histone demethylase Jmjd3 at the enhancer element of the Eomes locus to allow enhancer-promoter interactions. This spatial reorganization of the chromatin primes the cells to respond to Activin signalling, which promotes the binding of Jmjd3 and Eomes to its own bivalent promoter region to further stimulate Eomes expression in a positive feedback loop. In addition, Eomes activates a transcriptional network of core regulators of endodermal differentiation. Our results demonstrate that Jmjd3 sequentially associates with two T-box factors, Tbx3 and Eomes to drive stem cell differentiation towards the definitive endoderm lineage.