Continuous, non-cell cycle-dependent expression of cyclin E is a characteristic feature of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). We studied the 5' regulatory region of Cyclin E, also known as Ccne1, and identified binding sites for transcription factors of the naïve pluripotency network, including Esrrb, Klf4, and Tfcp2l1 within 1 kilobase upstream of the transcription start site. Luciferase assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (ChiP-qPCR) study highlighted one binding site for Esrrb that is essential to transcriptional activity of the promoter region, and three binding sites for Klf4 and Tfcp2l1. Knockdown of Esrrb, Klf4, and Tfcp2l1 reduced Cyclin E expression whereas overexpression of Esrrb and Klf4 increased it, indicating a strong correlation between the expression level of these factors and that of cyclin E. We observed that cyclin E overexpression delays differentiation induced by Esrrb depletion, suggesting that cyclin E is an important target of Esrrb for differentiation blockade. We observed that mESCs express a low level of miR-15a and that transfection of a miR-15a mimic decreases Cyclin E mRNA level. These results lead to the conclusion that the high expression level of Cyclin E in mESCs can be attributed to transcriptional activation by Esrrb as well as to the absence of its negative regulator, miR-15a.
Keywords: Cyclin E; Embryonic stem cell; cell-cycle; pluripotent.