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J Biol Chem 2020 Feb 28;2959:2724-2735. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010719.
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The regulatory proteins DSCR6 and Ezh2 oppositely regulate Stat3 transcriptional activity in mesoderm patterning during Xenopus development.

Loreti M , Shi DL , Carron C .

Embryonic cell fate specification and axis patterning requires integration of several signaling pathways that orchestrate region-specific gene expression. The transcription factor signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) plays important roles during early development, but it is unclear how Stat3 is activated. Here, using Xenopus as a model, we analyzed the post-translational regulation and functional consequences of Stat3 activation in dorsoventral axis patterning. We show that Stat3 phosphorylation, lysine methylation, and transcriptional activity increase before gastrulation and induce ventral mesoderm formation. Down syndrome critical region gene 6 (DSCR6), a RIPPLY family member that induces dorsal mesoderm by releasing repressive polycomb group proteins from chromatin, bound to the Stat3 C-terminal region and antagonized its transcriptional and ventralizing activities by interfering with its lysine methylation. Enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb-repressive complex 2 subunit (Ezh2) also bound to this region; however, its methyltransferase activity was required for Stat3 methylation and activation. Loss of Ezh2 resulted in dorsalization of ventral mesoderm and formation of a secondary axis. Furthermore, interference with Ezh2 phosphorylation also prevented Stat3 lysine methylation and transcriptional activity. Thus, inhibition of either Ezh2 phosphorylation or Stat3 lysine methylation compensated for the absence of DSCR6 function. These results reveal that DSCR6 and Ezh2 critically and post-translationally regulate Stat3 transcriptional activity. Ezh2 promotes Stat3 activation in ventral mesoderm formation independently of epigenetic regulation, whereas DSCR6 specifies dorsal fate by counteracting this ventralizing activity. This antagonism helps pattern the mesoderm along the dorsoventral axis, representing a critical facet of cell identity regulation during development.

PubMed ID: 31996376
PMC ID: PMC7049951
Article link: J Biol Chem

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: chrd ezh2 myc otx2 ripply3 stat3 stat3.2 ventx1.2 ventx2 wnt8a
GO keywords: cell fate determination
Antibodies: Ripply3 Ab1
Morpholinos: ripply3 MO1 ripply3 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Aldiri, Polycomb repressive complex PRC2 regulates Xenopus retina development downstream of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. 2013, Pubmed, Xenbase