Zscan4 Inhibits Maintenance DNA Methylation to Facilitate Telomere Elongation in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Proper telomere length is essential for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal and pluripotency. Mouse ESCs (mESCs) sporadically convert to a transient totipotent state similar to that of two-cell (2C) embryos to recover shortened telomeres. Zscan4, which exhibits a burst of expression in 2C-like mESCs, is required for telomere extension in these cells. However, the mechanism by which Zscan4 extends telomeres remains elusive. Here, we show that Zscan4 facilitates telomere elongation by inducing global DNA demethylation through downregulation of Uhrf1 and Dnmt1, major components of the maintenance DNA methylation machinery. Mechanistically, Zscan4 recruits Uhrf1 and Dnmt1 and promotes their degradation, which depends on the E3 ubiquitin ligase activity of Uhrf1. Blocking DNA demethylation prevents telomere elongation associated with Zscan4 expression, suggesting that DNA demethylation mediates the effect of Zscan4. Our results define a molecular pathway that contributes to the maintenance of telomere length homeostasis in mESCs.
Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.
Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.