Publications by authors named "Jessica Nolte"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficient Killing of Murine Pluripotent Stem Cells by Natural Killer (NK) Cells Requires Activation by Cytokines and Partly Depends on the Activating NK Receptor NKG2D.

Front Immunol 2017 26;8:870. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Institute of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role as cytotoxic effector cells, which scan the organism for infected or tumorigenic cells. Conflicting data have been published whether NK cells can also kill allogeneic or even autologous pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) and which receptors are involved. A clarification of this question is relevant since an activity of NK cells against PSCs could reduce the risk of teratoma growth after transplantation of PSC-derived grafts. Therefore, the hypothesis has been tested that the activity of NK cells against PSCs depends on cytokine activation and specifically on the activating NK receptor NKG2D. It is shown that a subcutaneous injection of autologous iPSCs failed to activate NK cells against these iPSCs and can give rise to teratomas. In agreement with this result, several PSC lines, including two iPSC, two embryonic stem cell (ESC), and two so-called multipotent adult germline stem cell (maGSC) lines, were largely resistant against resting NK cells although differences in killing were found at low level. All PSC lines were killed by interleukin (IL)-2-activated NK cells, and maGSCs were better killed than the other PSC types. The PSCs expressed ligands of the activating NK receptor NKG2D and NKG2D-deficient NK cells from mice were impaired in their cytotoxic activity against PSCs. The low-cytotoxic activity of resting NK cells was almost completely dependent on NKG2D. The cytotoxic activity of IL-2-activated NKG2D-deficient NK cells against PSCs was reduced, indicating that also other activating receptors on cytokine-activated NK cells must be engaged by ligands on PSCs. Thus, NKG2D is an important activating receptor involved in killing of murine PSCs. However, NK cells need to be activated by cytokines before they efficiently target PSCs and then also other NK receptors become relevant. These features of NK cells might be relevant for transplantation of PSC-derived grafts since NK cells have the capability to kill undifferentiated cells, which might be present in grafts in trace amounts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00870DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582315PMC
July 2017

Lrrc34, a novel nucleolar protein, interacts with npm1 and ncl and has an impact on pluripotent stem cells.

Stem Cells Dev 2014 Dec 5;23(23):2862-74. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

1 Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen , Göttingen, Germany .

The gene Lrrc34 (leucine rich repeat containing 34) is highly expressed in pluripotent stem cells and its expression is strongly downregulated upon differentiation. These results let us to suggest a role for Lrrc34 in the regulation and maintenance of pluripotency. Expression analyses revealed that Lrrc34 is predominantly expressed in pluripotent stem cells and has an impact on the expression of known pluripotency genes, such as Oct4. Methylation studies of the Lrrc34 promoter showed a hypomethylation in undifferentiated stem cells and chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses of histone modifications revealed an enrichment of activating histone modifications on the Lrrc34 promoter region. Further, we could verify the nucleolus-the place of ribosome biogenesis-as the major subcellular localization of the LRRC34 protein. We have verified the interaction of LRRC34 with two major nucleolar proteins, Nucleophosmin and Nucleolin, by two independent methods, suggesting a role for Lrrc34 in ribosome biogenesis of pluripotent stem cells. In conclusion, LRRC34 is a novel nucleolar protein that is predominantly expressed in pluripotent stem cells. Its altered expression has an impact on pluripotency-regulating genes and it interacts with proteins known to be involved in ribosome biogenesis. Therefore we suggest a role for Lrrc34 in ribosome biogenesis of pluripotent stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2013.0470DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4236065PMC
December 2014

Zfp819, a novel KRAB-zinc finger protein, interacts with KAP1 and functions in genomic integrity maintenance of mouse embryonic stem cells.

Stem Cell Res 2013 Nov 30;11(3):1045-59. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Heinrich-Dueker-Weg 12, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.

Pluripotency is maintained by both known and unknown transcriptional regulatory networks. In the present study, we have identified Zfp819, a KRAB-zinc finger protein, as a novel pluripotency-related factor and characterized its role in pluripotent stem cells. We show that Zfp819 is expressed highly in various types of pluripotent stem cells but not in their differentiated counterparts. We identified the presence of non-canonical nuclear localization signals in particular zinc finger motifs and identified them as responsible for the nuclear localization of Zfp819. Analysis of the Zfp819 promoter region revealed the presence of a transcriptionally active chromatin signature. Moreover, we confirmed the binding of pluripotency-related factors, Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog to the distal promoter region of Zfp819, indicating that the expression of this gene is regulated by a pluripotency transcription factor network. We found that the expression of endogenous retroviral elements (ERVs) such as Intracisternal A Particle (IAP) retrotransposons, Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements (LINE1), and Short Interspersed Nuclear Elements (SINE B1) is significantly upregulated in Zfp819-knockdown (Zfp819_KD) cells. In line with the activation of ERVs, we observed the occurrence of spontaneous DNA damage in Zfp819_KD cells. Furthermore, we tested whether Zfp819 can interact with KAP1, a KRAB-associated protein with a transcriptional repression function, and found the interaction between these two proteins in both in vitro and in vivo experiments. The challenging of Zfp819_KD cells with DNA damaging agent revealed that these cells are inefficient in repairing the damaged DNA, as cells showed presence of γH2A.X foci for a prolonged time. Collectively, our study identified Zfp819 as a novel pluripotency-related factor and unveiled its function in genomic integrity maintenance mechanisms of mouse embryonic stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scr.2013.07.006DOI Listing
November 2013

The novel BTB-kelch protein, KBTBD8, is located in the Golgi apparatus and translocates to the spindle apparatus during mitosis.

Cell Div 2013 Apr 11;8(1). Epub 2013 Apr 11.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, 37073, Germany.

Proteins of the BTB-kelch family are known to be involved in multiple biological processes such as migration, cytoskeleton arrangement, regulation of cell morphology, protein ubiquitination and gene expression. KBTBD8 is a new member of this family. The gene was found in a comparative transcriptome analysis of pluripotent stem cells and was therefore suggested to play a role in the regulation of pluripotency. Comparative analysis of the gene and protein sequences revealed a high conservation throughout evolution especially in the characteristic domains of BTB, BACK and kelch. We identified the Golgi apparatus as the subcellular localization of the KBTBD8 protein in non-dividing cells and could show that KBTBD8 co-localizes with α-tubulin on the spindle apparatus of mitotic cells suggesting a role in cell proliferation. In conclusion, KBTBD8 is a new member of the BTB-kelch superfamily that is located in the Golgi apparatus and translocates to the spindle apparatus during mitosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1747-1028-8-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639201PMC
April 2013

Impact of the antiproliferative agent ciclopirox olamine treatment on stem cells proteome.

World J Stem Cells 2013 Jan;5(1):9-25

Gry H Dihazi, Asima Bibi, Gerhard A Mueller, Hassan Dihazi, Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Georg-August University Goettingen, D-37075 Goettingen, Germany.

Aim: To investigate the proteome changes of stem cells due to ciclopirox olamine (CPX) treatment compared to control and retinoic acid treated cells.

Methods: Stem cells (SCs) are cells, which have the ability to continuously divide and differentiate into various other kinds of cells. Murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs) were treated with CPX, which has been shown to have an antiproliferative effect on stem cells, and compared to stem cells treated with retinoic acid (RA), which is known to have a differentiating effect on stem cells. Classical proteomic techniques like 2-D gel electrophoresis and differential in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE) were used to generate 2D protein maps from stem cells treated with RA or CPX as well as from non-treated stem cells. The resulting 2D gels were scanned and the digitalized images were collated with the help of Delta 2D software. The differentially expressed proteins were analyzed by a MALDI-TOF-TOF mass spectrometer, and the identified proteins were investigated and categorized using bioinformatics.

Results: Treatment of stem cells with CPX, a synthetic antifungal clinically used to treat superficial mycoses, resulted in an antiproliferative effect in vitro, without impairment of pluripotency. To understand the mechanisms induced by CPX treatments which results in arrest of cell cycle without any marked effect on pluripotency, a comparative proteomics study was conducted. The obtained data revealed that the CPX impact on cell proliferation was accompanied with a significant alteration in stem cell proteome. By peptide mass fingerprinting and tandem mass spectrometry combined with searches of protein sequence databases, a set of 316 proteins was identified, corresponding to a library of 125 non-redundant proteins. With proteomic analysis of ESCs and maGSCs treated with CPX and RA, we could identify more than 90 single proteins, which were differently expressed in both cell lines. We could highlight, that CPX treatment of stem cells, with subsequent proliferation inhibition, resulted in an alteration of the expression of 56 proteins compared to non-treated cells, and 54 proteins compared to RA treated cells. Bioinformatics analysis of the regulated proteins demonstrated their involvement in various biological processes. To our interest, a number of proteins have potential roles in the regulation of cell proliferation either directly or indirectly. Furthermore the classification of the altered polypeptides according to their main known/postulated functions revealed that the majority of these proteins are involved in molecular functions like nucleotide binding and metal ion binding, and biological processes like nucleotide biosynthetic processes, gene expression, embryonic development, regulation of transcription, cell cycle processes, RNA and mRNA processing. Proteins, which are involved in nucleotide biosynthetic process and proteolysis, were downregulated in CPX treated cells compared to control, as well as in RA treated cells, which may explain the cell cycle arrest. Moreover, proteins which were involved in cell death, positive regulation of biosynthetic process, response to organic substance, glycolysis, anti-apoptosis, and phosphorylation were downregulated in RA treated cells compared to control and CPX treated cells.

Conclusion: The CPX treatment of SCs results in downregulation of nucleotide binding proteins and leads to cell cycle stop without impairment of pluripotency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4252/wjsc.v5.i1.9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3557350PMC
January 2013

Apoptosis-related gene expression profiles of mouse ESCs and maGSCs: role of Fgf4 and Mnda in pluripotent cell responses to genotoxicity.

PLoS One 2012 7;7(11):e48869. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Stem cells in the developing embryo proliferate and differentiate while maintaining genomic integrity, failure of which may lead to accumulation of mutations and subsequent damage to the embryo. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), the in vitro counterpart of embryo stem cells are highly sensitive to genotoxic stress. Defective ESCs undergo either efficient DNA damage repair or apoptosis, thus maintaining genomic integrity. However, the genotoxicity- and apoptosis-related processes in germ-line derived pluripotent cells, multipotent adult germ-line stem cells (maGSCs), are currently unknown. Here, we analyzed the expression of apoptosis-related genes using OligoGEArray in undifferentiated maGSCs and ESCs and identified a similar set of genes expressed in both cell types. We detected the expression of intrinsic, but not extrinsic, apoptotic pathway genes in both cell types. Further, we found that apoptosis-related gene expression patterns of differentiated ESCs and maGSCs are identical to each other. Comparative analysis revealed that several pro- and anti-apoptotic genes are expressed specifically in pluripotent cells, but markedly downregulated in the differentiated counterparts of these cells. Activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway cause approximately ∼35% of both ESCs and maGSCs to adopt an early-apoptotic phenotype. Moreover, we performed transcriptome studies using early-apoptotic cells to identify novel pluripotency- and apoptosis-related genes. From these transcriptome studies, we selected Fgf4 (Fibroblast growth factor 4) and Mnda (Myeloid cell nuclear differentiating antigen), which are highly downregulated in early-apoptotic cells, as novel candidates and analyzed their roles in apoptosis and genotoxicity responses in ESCs. Collectively, our results show the existence of common molecular mechanisms for maintaining the pristine stem cell pool of both ESCs and maGSCs.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0048869PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492253PMC
May 2013

MicroRNA signature in various cell types of mouse spermatogenesis: evidence for stage-specifically expressed miRNA-221, -203 and -34b-5p mediated spermatogenesis regulation.

Biol Cell 2012 Nov 24;104(11):677-92. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Goettingen 37073, Germany.

Background Information: Recently, it became apparent that microRNAs (miRNAs) can regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Despite the advances in identifying the testis-expressed miRNAs and their role in spermatogenesis, only few data are available showing the spatiotemporal expression of miRNAs during this process.

Results: To understand how different miRNAs can regulate germ cells differentiation, we generated a transgenic mouse model and purified pure populations of premeiotic (PrM) cells and primary spermatocytes (meiotic cells). We also established spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) culture using relatively simple and robust culture conditions. Comparison of global miRNA expression in these germ cell populations revealed 17 SSC-, 11 PrM- and 13 meiotic-specific miRNAs. We identified nine miRNAs as specific for both SSC and PrM cells and another nine miRNAs as specific for PrM and meiotic cells. Additionally, 45 miRNAs were identified as commonly expressed in all three cell types. Several of PrM- and meiotic-specific miRNAs were identified as exclusively/preferentially expressed in testis. We were able to identify the relevant target genes for many of these miRNAs. The luciferase reporter assays with SSC (miR-221)-, PrM (miR-203)- and meiotic (miR-34b-5p)-specific miRNAs and 3'-untranslated region constructs of their targets, c-Kit, Rbm44 and Cdk6, respectively, showed an approximately 30%-40% decrease in reporter activity. Moreover, we observed a reduced expression of endogenous proteins, c-Kit and Cdk6, when the testis-derived cell lines, GC-1 and GC-4, were transfected with miRNA mimics for miR-221 and miR-34b-5p, respectively.

Conclusions: Taken together, we established the miRNA signature of SSC, PrM and meiotic cells and show evidence for their functional relevance during the process of spermatogenesis by target prediction and validation. Through our observations, we propose a working model in which the stage-specific miRNAs such as miR-221, -203 and -34b-5p coordinate the regulation of spermatogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/boc.201200014DOI Listing
November 2012

Generation and characterization of yeast two-hybrid cDNA libraries derived from two distinct mouse pluripotent cell types.

Mol Biotechnol 2013 Jun;54(2):228-37

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Pluripotent stem cells have the therapeutic potential in future regenerative medicine applications. Therefore, it is highly important to understand the molecular mechanisms governing the pluripotency and differentiation potential of these cells. Our current knowledge of pluripotent cells is largely limited owing to the candidate gene/protein approach rather than studying the complex interactions of the proteins. Experimentally, yeast two-hybrid system (Y2H) is by far the most useful and widely used method to detect the protein-protein interactions in high-throughput screenings. Unfortunately, currently there is no GAL4-based pluripotent stem cell-specific cDNA library available for screening the interaction proteins impeding the large-scale studies. In this study, we report the construction of Y2H cDNA libraries derived from mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and multipotent adult germ-line stem cells (maGSCs) in GAL4-based Y2H vector system with very high transformation efficiency. Furthermore, we have constructed two different baits and screened for interaction partners in an effort to characterize the libraries and also as a part of our ongoing studies. Consequently, many putative interaction proteins were identified in both cases and their interaction was further validated by direct-Y2H. The observed interactions between bait proteins and their respective analyzed putative interaction proteins were further confirmed using two independent approaches in mammalian cells, thus highlighting the biological significance of the identified interactor (s). Finally, we would like to make these cDNA libraries as a resource that can be distributed to the research community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12033-012-9561-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636440PMC
June 2013

Stage-specific germ-cell marker genes are expressed in all mouse pluripotent cell types and emerge early during induced pluripotency.

PLoS One 2011 25;6(7):e22413. Epub 2011 Jul 25.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) generated from the in-vitro culture of blastocyst stage embryos are known as equivalent to blastocyst inner cell mass (ICM) in-vivo. Though several reports have shown the expression of germ cell/pre-meiotic (GC/PrM) markers in ESCs, their functional relevance for the pluripotency and germ line commitment are largely unknown. In the present study, we used mouse as a model system and systematically analyzed the RNA and protein expression of GC/PrM markers in ESCs and found them to be comparable to the expression of cultured pluripotent cells originated from the germ line. Further, siRNA knockdown experiments have demonstrated the parallel maintenance and independence of pluripotent and GC/PrM networks in ESCs. Through chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, we observed that pluripotent cells exhibit active chromatin states at GC marker genes and a bivalent chromatin structure at PrM marker genes. Moreover, gene expression analysis during the time course of iPS cells generation revealed that the expression of GC markers precedes pluripotency markers. Collectively, through our observations we hypothesize that the chromatin state and the expression of GC/PrM markers might indicate molecular parallels between in-vivo germ cell specification and pluripotent stem cell generation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0022413PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3143132PMC
December 2011

Multipotent adult germline stem cells and embryonic stem cells functional proteomics revealed an important role of eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (Eif5a) in stem cell differentiation.

J Proteome Res 2011 Apr 16;10(4):1962-73. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Georg-August University Goettingen , Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, D-37075 Goettingen, Germany.

Multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs) are pluripotent cells that can be differentiated into somatic cells of the three primary germ layers. To highlight the protein profile changes associated with stem cell differentiation, retinoic acid (RA) treated mouse stem cells (maGSCs and ESCs) were compared to nontreated stem cells. 2-DE and DIGE reference maps were created, and differentially expressed proteins were further processed for identification. In both stem cell types, the RA induced differentiation resulted in an alteration of 36 proteins of which 18 were down-regulated and might be potential pluripotency associated proteins, whereas the other 18 proteins were up-regulated. These might be correlated to stem cell differentiation. Surprisingly, eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (Eif5a), a protein which is essential for cell proliferation and differentiation, was significantly down-regulated under RA treatment. A time-dependent investigation of Eif5a showed that the RA treatment of stem cells resulted in a significant up-regulation of the Eif5a in the first 48 h followed by a progressive down-regulation thereafter. This effect could be blocked by the hypusination inhibitor ciclopirox olamine (CPX). The alteration of Eif5a hypusination, as confirmed by mass spectrometry, exerts an antiproliferative effect on ESCs and maGSCs in vitro, but does not affect the cell pluripotency. Our data highlights the important role of Eif5a and its hypusination for stem cell differentiation and proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr1012015DOI Listing
April 2011

Global and gene-specific histone modification profiles of mouse multipotent adult germline stem cells.

Mol Hum Reprod 2011 Mar 8;17(3):166-74. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Institute of Human Genetics, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Heinrich-Dueker-Weg 12, 37073 Goettingen, Germany.

We previously reported the generation of multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs) from spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) isolated from adult mouse testis. In a later study, we substantiated the pluripotency of maGSCs by demonstrating their close similarity to pluripotent male embryonic stem cells (ESCs) at the epigenetic level of global and gene-specific DNA methylation. Here, we extended the comparative epigenetic analysis of maGSCs and male ESCs by investigating the second main epigenetic modification in mammals, i.e. global and gene-specific modifications of histones (H3K4 trimethylation, H3K9 acetylation, H3K9 trimethylation and H3K27 trimethylation). Using immunofluorescence staining, flow cytometry and western blot analysis, we show that maGSCs are very similar to male ESCs with regard to global levels and nuclear distribution patterns of these modifications. Chromatin immunoprecipitation real-time PCR analysis of these modifications at the gene-specific level further revealed modification patterns of the pluripotency marker genes Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog in maGSCs that are nearly identical to those of male ESCs. These genes were enriched for activating histone modifications including H3K4me3 and H3K9ac and depleted of repressive histone modifications including H3K27me3 and H3K9me3. In addition, Hoxa11, a key regulator of early embryonic development showed the ESC-typical bivalent chromatin conformation with enrichment of both the activating H3K4me3 and the repressive H3K27me3 modification also in maGSCs. Collectively, our results demonstrate that maGSCs also closely resemble ESCs with regard to their chromatin state and further evidence their pluripotent nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gaq085DOI Listing
March 2011

PSCDGs of mouse multipotent adult germline stem cells can enter and progress through meiosis to form haploid male germ cells in vitro.

Differentiation 2010 Nov-Dec;80(4-5):184-94. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) provide the basis for spermatogenesis throughout adult life by undergoing self-renewal and differentiation into sperm. SSC-derived cell lines called multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs) were recently shown to be pluripotent and to have the same potential as embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In a differentiation protocol using retinoic acid (RA) and based on a double selection strategy, we have shown that ESCs are able to undergo meiosis and produce haploid male germ cells in vitro. Using this differentiation protocol we have now succeeded to generate haploid male germ cells from maGSCs in vitro. maGSCs derived from a Stra8-EGFP transgenic mouse line were differentiated into stable spermatogonial stages and further cultured. These cells were transfected with a postmeiotic specific promoter construct Prm1-DsRed to monitor retinoic acid (RA) induced differentiation into haploid male gametes. Our protocol is another approach for the production of pluripotent stem cell derived gametes (PSCDGs) and is an alternative for the investigation of mammalian spermatogenesis, germ line gene modification and epigenetic reprogramming. If reproducible with pluripotent cell lines derived from human SSCs, it could also be used as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of male infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diff.2010.08.001DOI Listing
February 2011

Pluripotent stem cells are highly susceptible targets for syngeneic, allogeneic, and xenogeneic natural killer cells.

FASEB J 2010 Jul 9;24(7):2164-77. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, University of Göttingen, Humboldtallee 34, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Multipotent adult germ-line stem cells (maGSCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) could be used to generate autologous cells for therapeutic purposes, which are expected to be tolerated by the recipient. However, effects of the immune system on these cells have not been investigated. We have compared the susceptibility of maGSC lines to IL-2-activated natural killer (NK) cells with embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines, iPSCs, and F9 teratocarcinoma cells. The killing of pluripotent cell lines by syngeneic, allogeneic, and xenogeneic killer cells ranged between 48 and 265% in chromium release assays when compared to YAC-1 cells, which served as highly susceptible reference cells. With the exception of 2 maGSC lines, they expressed ligands for the activating NK receptor NKG2D that belong to the RAE-1 family, and killing could be inhibited by soluble NKG2D, demonstrating a functional role of these molecules. Furthermore, ligands of the activating receptor DNAM-1 were frequently expressed. The susceptibility to NK cells might constitute a common feature of pluripotent cells. It could result in rejection after transplantation, as suggested by a reduced teratoma growth after NK cell activation in vivo, but it might also offer a strategy to deplete contaminating pluripotent cells before grafting of differentiated cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.09-134957DOI Listing
July 2010

Multipotent adult germline stem cells and embryonic stem cells: comparative proteomic approach.

J Proteome Res 2009 Dec;8(12):5497-510

Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology, Georg-August University Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, D-37075 Goettingen, Germany.

Spermatogonial stem cells isolated from the adult mouse testis acquire under certain culture conditions pluripotency and become so-called multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs). They can be differentiated into somatic cells of the three germ layers. We investigated a subset of the maGSCs and ESCs proteomes using cell lines derived from two different mouse strains, narrow range immobilized pH gradients to favor the detection of less abundant proteins, and DIGE to ensure confident comparison between the two cell types. 2-D reference maps of maGSCs and ESCs in the pI ranges 3-6 and 5-8 were created, and protein entities were further processed for protein identification. By peptide mass fingerprinting and tandem mass spectrometry combined with searches of protein sequence databases, a set of 409 proteins was identified, corresponding to a library of 166 nonredundant stem cell-associated proteins. The identified proteins were classified according to their main known/postulated functions using bioinformatics. Furthermore, we used DIGE to highlight the ESC-like nature of maGSCs on the proteome scale. We concluded that the proteome of maGSCs is highly similar to that of ESCs as we could identify only a small subset of 18 proteins to be differentially expressed between the two cell types. Moreover, comparative analysis of the cell line proteomes from two different mouse strains showed that the interindividual differences in maGSCs proteomes are minimal. With our study, we created for the first time a proteomic map for maGSCs and compared it to the ESCs proteome from the same mouse. We confirmed on the proteome level the ESC-like nature of maGSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr900565bDOI Listing
December 2009

Multipotent adult germ-line stem cells, like other pluripotent stem cells, can be killed by cytotoxic T lymphocytes despite low expression of major histocompatibility complex class I molecules.

Biol Direct 2009 Aug 28;4:31. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, University of Göttingen, Heinrich-Düker-Weg 12, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Background: Multipotent adult germ-line stem cells (maGSCs) represent a new pluripotent cell type that can be derived without genetic manipulation from spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) present in adult testis. Similarly to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), they could provide a source of cellular grafts for new transplantation therapies of a broad variety of diseases. To test whether these stem cells can be rejected by the recipients, we have analyzed whether maGSCs and iPSCs can become targets for cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) or whether they are protected, as previously proposed for embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

Results: We have observed that maGSCs can be maintained in prolonged culture with or without leukemia inhibitory factor and/or feeder cells and still retain the capacity to form teratomas in immunodeficient recipients. They were, however, rejected in immunocompetent allogeneic recipients, and the immune response controlled teratoma growth. We analyzed the susceptibility of three maGSC lines to CTL in comparison to ESCs, iPSCs, and F9 teratocarcinoma cells. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules were not detectable by flow cytometry on these stem cell lines, apart from low levels on one maGSC line (maGSC Stra8 SSC5). However, using a quantitative real time PCR analysis H2K and B2m transcripts were detected in all pluripotent stem cell lines. All pluripotent stem cell lines were killed in a peptide-dependent manner by activated CTLs derived from T cell receptor transgenic OT-I mice after pulsing of the targets with the SIINFEKL peptide.

Conclusion: Pluripotent stem cells, including maGSCs, ESCs, and iPSCs can become targets for CTLs, even if the expression level of MHC class I molecules is below the detection limit of flow cytometry. Thus they are not protected against CTL-mediated cytotoxicity. Therefore, pluripotent cells might be rejected after transplantation by this mechanism if specific antigens are presented and if specific activated CTLs are present. Our results show that the adaptive immune system has in principle the capacity to kill pluripotent and teratoma forming stem cells. This finding might help to develop new strategies to increase the safety of future transplantations of in vitro differentiated cells by exploiting a selective immune response against contaminating undifferentiated cells.

Reviewers: This article was reviewed by Bhagirath Singh, Etienne Joly and Lutz Walter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1745-6150-4-31DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2745366PMC
August 2009

Comparative methylation profiles and telomerase biology of mouse multipotent adult germline stem cells and embryonic stem cells.

Mol Hum Reprod 2009 Jun 18;15(6):345-53. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Institute of Human Genetics, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Langenbeckstrasse 1, 55101 Mainz, Germany.

Recently, several groups described the isolation of mouse spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and their potential to develop to embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like cells, so-called multipotent germline stem cells (mGSCs). We were the first to derive such mGSCs from SSCs isolated from adult mouse testis and, therefore, called these mGSCs multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs). Here, we comparatively analyzed gene-specific and global DNA methylation profiles as well as the telomerase biology of several maGSC and male ESC lines. We show that undifferentiated maGSCs are very similar to undifferentiated male ESCs with regard to global DNA methylation, methylation of pluripotency marker gene loci, telomerase activity and telomere length. Imprinted gene methylation levels were generally lower in undifferentiated maGSCs than in undifferentiated male ESCs, but, compared with undifferentiated mGSCs derived by other groups, more similar to those of male ESCs. Differentiation of maGSCs increased the methylation of three of the four analyzed imprinted genes to almost somatic methylation patterns, but dramatically decreased global DNA methylation. Our findings further substantiate the pluripotency of maGSCs and their potential for regenerative medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gap023DOI Listing
June 2009

Multipotent adult germline stem cells and embryonic stem cells have similar microRNA profiles.

Mol Hum Reprod 2008 Sep 12;14(9):521-9. Epub 2008 Aug 12.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Goettingen, Heinrich-Dueker- Weg 12, Goettingen D-37073, Germany.

Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) isolated from the adult mouse testis and cultured have been shown to respond to culture conditions and become pluripotent, so called multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs). microRNAs (miRNAs) belonging to the 290 and 302 miRNA clusters have been previously classified as embryonic stem cell (ESC) specific. Here, we show that these miRNAs generally characterize pluripotent cells. They are expressed not only in ESCs but also in maGSCs as well as in the F9 embryonic carcinoma cell (ECC) line. In addition, we tested the time-dependent influence of different factors that promote loss of pluripotency on levels of these miRNAs in all three pluripotent cell types. Despite the differences regarding time and extent of differentiation observed between ESCs and maGSCs, expression profiles of both miRNA families showed similarities between these two cell types, suggesting similar underlying mechanisms in maintenance of pluripotency and differentiation. Our results indicate that the 290-miRNA family is connected with Oct-4 and maintenance of the pluripotent state. In contrast, members of the 302-miRNA family are induced during first stages of in vitro differentiation in all cell types tested. Therefore, detection of miRNAs of miR-302 family in pluripotent cells can be attributed to the proportion of spontaneously differentiating cells in cultures of pluripotent cells. These results are consistent with ESC-like nature of maGSCs and their potential as an alternative source of pluripotent cells from non-embryonic tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molehr/gan044DOI Listing
September 2008

Potency of germ cells and its relevance for regenerative medicine.

J Anat 2008 Jul 28;213(1):26-9. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Germline stem cells, which can self-renew and generate gametes, are unique stem cells in that they are solely dedicated to transmit genetic information from generation to generation. The germ cells have a special place in the life cycle because they must be able to retain the ability to recreate the organism, a property known as developmental totipotency. Several lines of evidence have suggested the extensive proliferation activity and pluripotency of prenatal, neonatal and adult germline stem cells. We showed that adult male germline stem cells, spermatogonial stem cells, can be converted into embryonic stem cell-like cells, which can differentiate into the somatic stem cells of three germ layers. Different cell types such as vascular, heart, liver, pancreatic and blood cells could also be obtained from these stem cells. Understanding how spermatogonial stem cells can give rise to pluripotent stem cells and how somatic stem cells differentiate into germ cells could give significant insight into the regulation of developmental totipotency as well as having important implications for male fertility and regenerative medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00930.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2475561PMC
July 2008

Putative human male germ cells from bone marrow stem cells.

Soc Reprod Fertil Suppl 2007 ;63:69-76

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen.

Germ cells must develop along distinct male or female paths to produce the spermatozoa or oocyte required for sexual reproduction. Male germline stem cells maintain spermatogenesis in the postnatal human testis. Here we show that a small population of bone marrow cells is able to transdifferentiate to male germ cell-like cells. We show expression of early germ cell markers (Oct4, Fragilis, Stella and Vasa) and male germ cell specific markers (Dazl, TSPY, Piwil2 and Stra8) in these cells. Our preliminary findings provide direct evidence that human bone marrow cells can differentiate to putative male germ cells and identify bone marrow as a potential source of male germ cells that could sustain sperm production.
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August 2007

In vitro-differentiated embryonic stem cells give rise to male gametes that can generate offspring mice.

Dev Cell 2006 Jul;11(1):125-32

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Male gametes originate from a small population of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). These cells are believed to divide infinitely and to support spermatogenesis throughout life in the male. Here, we developed a strategy for the establishment of SSC lines from embryonic stem (ES) cells. These cells are able to undergo meiosis, are able to generate haploid male gametes in vitro, and are functional, as shown by fertilization after intracytoplasmic injection into mouse oocytes. Resulting two-cell embryos were transferred into oviducts, and live mice were born. Six of seven animals developed to adult mice. This is a clear indication that male gametes derived in vitro from ES cells by this strategy are able to induce normal fertilization and development. Our approach provides an accessible in vitro model system for studies of mammalian gametogenesis, as well as for the development of new strategies for the generation of transgenic mice and treatment of infertility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2006.05.010DOI Listing
July 2006

Derivation of male germ cells from bone marrow stem cells.

Lab Invest 2006 Jul 1;86(7):654-63. Epub 2006 May 1.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

Recent studies have demonstrated that somatic stem cells have a more flexible potential than expected, whether put into tissue or cultured under different conditions. Bone marrow (BM)-derived stem cells can transdifferentiate into multilineage cells, such as muscle of mesoderm, lung and liver of endoderm, and brain and skin of ectoderm origin. Here we show that BM stem cells are able to transdifferentiate into male germ cells. For derivation of male germ cells from adult BM stem (BMS) cells, we used the Stra8-enhanced green fluoresence protein (EGFP) transgenic mouse line expressing EGFP specifically in male germ cells. BMS cell-derived germ cells expressed the known molecular markers of primordial germ cells, such as fragilis, stella, Rnf17, Mvh and Oct4; as well as molecular markers of spermatogonial stem cells and spermatogonia including Rbm, c-Kit, Tex18, Stra8, Piwil2, Dazl, Hsp90alpha, beta1- and alpha6-integrins. Our ability to derive male germ cells from BMS cells reveals novel aspects of germ cell development and opens the possibilities for use of these cells in reproductive medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/labinvest.3700429DOI Listing
July 2006

Pluripotency of spermatogonial stem cells from adult mouse testis.

Nature 2006 Apr 24;440(7088):1199-203. Epub 2006 Mar 24.

Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, Heart Center, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.

Embryonic germ cells as well as germline stem cells from neonatal mouse testis are pluripotent and have differentiation potential similar to embryonic stem cells, suggesting that the germline lineage may retain the ability to generate pluripotent cells. However, until now there has been no evidence for the pluripotency and plasticity of adult spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), which are responsible for maintaining spermatogenesis throughout life in the male. Here we show the isolation of SSCs from adult mouse testis using genetic selection, with a success rate of 27%. These isolated SSCs respond to culture conditions and acquire embryonic stem cell properties. We name these cells multipotent adult germline stem cells (maGSCs). They are able to spontaneously differentiate into derivatives of the three embryonic germ layers in vitro and generate teratomas in immunodeficient mice. When injected into an early blastocyst, SSCs contribute to the development of various organs and show germline transmission. Thus, the capacity to form multipotent cells persists in adult mouse testis. Establishment of human maGSCs from testicular biopsies may allow individual cell-based therapy without the ethical and immunological problems associated with human embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, these cells may provide new opportunities to study genetic diseases in various cell lineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04697DOI Listing
April 2006

The periplasmic chaperone SurA exploits two features characteristic of integral outer membrane proteins for selective substrate recognition.

J Biol Chem 2005 Jun 19;280(25):23540-8. Epub 2005 Apr 19.

Abteilung Molekulare Genetik und Präparative Molekularbiologie, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Georg-August-Universität, Grisebachstrasse 8, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.

The Escherichia coli periplasmic chaperone and peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) SurA facilitates the maturation of outer membrane porins. Although the PPIase activity exhibited by one of its two parvulin-like domains is dispensable for this function, the chaperone activity residing in the non-PPIase regions of SurA, a sizable N-terminal domain and a short C-terminal tail, is essential. Unlike most cytoplasmic chaperones SurA is selective for particular substrates and recognizes outer membrane porins synthesized in vitro much more efficiently than other proteins. Thus, SurA may be specialized for the maturation of outer membrane proteins. We have characterized the substrate specificity of SurA based on its natural, biologically relevant substrates by screening cellulose-bound peptide libraries representing outer membrane proteins. We show that two features are critical for peptide binding by SurA: specific patterns of aromatic residues and the orientation of their side chains, which are found more frequently in integral outer membrane proteins than in other proteins. For the first time this sufficiently explains the capability of SurA to discriminate between outer membrane protein and non-outer membrane protein folding intermediates. Furthermore, peptide binding by SurA requires neither an active PPIase domain nor the presence of proline, indicating that the observed substrate specificity relates to the chaperone function of SurA. Finally, we show that SurA is capable of associating with the outer membrane. Together, our data support a model in which SurA is specialized to interact with non-native periplasmic outer membrane protein folding intermediates and to assist in their maturation from early to late outer membrane-associated steps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M413742200DOI Listing
June 2005