Dissecting mechanisms of human islet differentiation and maturation through epigenome profiling [article]

Juan R Alvarez-Dominguez, Julie Donaghey, Jennifer H. R. Kenty, Niloofar Rasouli, Aharon Helman, Jocelyn Charlton, Juerg R. Straubhaar, Alexander Meissner, Douglas A. Melton
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Investigating pancreatic islet differentiation from human stem cells in vitro provides a unique opportunity to dissect mechanisms that operate during human development in utero. We developed methods to profile DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, and histone modifications from pluripotent stem cells to mature pancreatic islet cells, uncovering widespread epigenome remodeling upon endocrine commitment. Key lineage-defining loci are epigenetically primed before activation, foreshadowing cell
more » ... foreshadowing cell fate commitment, and we show that priming of α-cell-specific enhancers steers polyhormonal cells toward an α-cell fate. We further dissect pioneer factors and core regulatory circuits across islet cell differentiation and maturation stages, which identify LMX1B as a key regulator of in vitro-derived endocrine progenitors. Finally, by contrasting maturing stem cell-derived to natural β-cells, we discover that circadian metabolic cycles trigger rhythmic control of insulin synthesis and release and promote mature insulin responsiveness via an increased glucose threshold. These findings form a basis for understanding mechanisms orchestrating human islet cell specification and maturation.
doi:10.1101/613026 fatcat:2k7dqs42bzdsvcslljdwxjjcti