Analysis of Interrelationships Among NAD+, PARP1, ADP-Ribosylation, and Splicing in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells




Jones, Aarin

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The differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESC) into a lineage-committed state is a dynamic process involving changes in epigenetic modifications, gene expression, RNA processing, and cellular metabolism. Previous studies have implicated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), an abundant nuclear enzyme that plays key roles in a variety of nuclear processes, in ESC self-renewal and lineage commitment. Given the diverse molecular functions of PARP1, I sought to determine the potential regulatory role of PARP1 in determining ESC state. PARP1 functions both as an enzyme, through its NAD+-dependent ADP-ribosyltransferase catalytic activity, and as a structural protein, through its NAD+-independent nucleic acid binding activity. I observed a dramatic induction of PARP1 catalytic activity during the early stages of mESC differentiation (e.g., within 12 hours of LIF removal) leading me to query the regulation and outcome of PARP1-mediated ADP-ribosylation in mESCs. NAD+ is synthesized through three main pathways - De novo, Salvage, and Preiss-Handler - and is constrained within cellular compartments. I found that both pathway usage and subcellular localization were dynamic during differentiation in a PARP1-dependent manner, with transition from De novo to Salvage pathway usage and increases in nuclear NAD+ levels upon differentiation feeding PARP1 catalytic activity. Using an NAD+ analog-sensitive PARP (asPARP) chemical biology approach, I characterized the PARP1-mediated ADP-ribosylated proteome during mESC differentiation. PARP1-modified proteins in mESCs are enriched for biological processes related to stem cell maintenance, transcriptional regulation, and RNA processing. The PARP1 substrates include core spliceosome components, such as U2AF35 and U2AF65, whose splicing functions are modulated by PARP1-mediated site-specific ADP-ribosylation. In addition, I observed a genome-wide dysregulation of splicing events upon loss of PARP1 in transcriptomic analysis. These results demonstrate a role for the NAD+-PARP1 axis in the maintenance of mESC cell state, specifically in the splicing program during differentiation.

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