Delayed Mesoderm and Erythroid Differentiation of Murine Embryonic Stem Cells in the Absence of the Transcriptional Regulator FUBP1

Stem Cells Int. 2017;2017:5762301. doi: 10.1155/2017/5762301. Epub 2017 May 15.


The transcriptional regulator far upstream binding protein 1 (FUBP1) is essential for fetal and adult hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal, and the constitutive absence of FUBP1 activity during early development leads to embryonic lethality in homozygous mutant mice. To investigate the role of FUBP1 in murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and in particular during differentiation into hematopoietic lineages, we generated Fubp1 knockout (KO) ESC clones using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Although FUBP1 is expressed in undifferentiated ESCs and during spontaneous differentiation following aggregation into embryoid bodies (EBs), absence of FUBP1 did not affect ESC maintenance. Interestingly, we observed a delayed differentiation of FUBP1-deficient ESCs into the mesoderm germ layer, as indicated by impaired expression of several mesoderm markers including Brachyury at an early time point of ESC differentiation upon aggregation to EBs. Coculture experiments with OP9 cells in the presence of erythropoietin revealed a diminished differentiation capacity of Fubp1 KO ESCs into the erythroid lineage. Our data showed that FUBP1 is important for the onset of mesoderm differentiation and maturation of hematopoietic progenitor cells into the erythroid lineage, a finding that is supported by the phenotype of FUBP1-deficient mice.