The DeVeale lab develops and applies molecular, genomic and computational approaches to understand the gene regulation that defines cell fates and function.
G1/S restriction point controls phasic gene expression and differentiation during early mouse development.
Nature Communications. June 2022
Pluripotent embryonic stem cells have a unique cell cycle structure with a suppressed G1/S restriction point and little differential expression across the cell cycle phases. Here, we evaluate the link between G1/S restriction point activation, phasic gene expression, and cellular differentiation. Expression analysis reveals a gain in phasic gene expression across lineages between embryonic days E7.5 and E9.5. Genetic manipulation of the G1/S restriction point regulators miR-302 and P27 respectively accelerates or delays the onset of phasic gene expression in mouse embryos. Loss of miR-302-mediated p21 or p27 suppression expedites embryonic stem cell differentiation, while a constitutive Cyclin E mutant blocks it. Together, these findings uncover a causal relationship between emergence of the G1/S restriction point with a gain in phasic gene expression and cellular differentiation.