OCT4 expression in human embryonic stem cells: spatio-temporal dynamics and fate transitions

Wadkin, Laura, Orozco-Fuentes, Sirio, Neganova, Irina, Lako, Majlinda, Barrio, Rafael A, Baggaley, Andrew, Parker, Nicholas G and Shukurov, Anvar (2021) OCT4 expression in human embryonic stem cells: spatio-temporal dynamics and fate transitions. Physical Biology, 18 (2). 026003. ISSN 1478-3967

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1088/1478-3975/abd22b


The improved in-vitro regulation of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) pluripotency and differentiation trajectories is required for their promising clinical applications. The temporal and spatial quantification of the molecular interactions controlling pluripotency is also necessary for the development of successful mathematical and computational models. Here we use time-lapse experimental data of OCT4-mCherry fluorescence intensity to quantify the temporal and spatial dynamics of the pluripotency transcription factor OCT4 in a growing hESC colony in the presence and absence of BMP4. We characterise the internal self-regulation of OCT4 using the Hurst exponent and autocorrelation analysis, quantify the intra-cellular fluctuations and consider the diffusive nature of OCT4 evolution for individual cells and pairs of their descendants. We find that OCT4 abundance in the daughter cells fluctuates sub-diffusively, showing anti-persistent self-regulation. We obtain the stationary probability distributions governing hESC transitions amongst the different cell states and establish the times at which pro-fate cells (which later give rise to pluripotent or differentiated cells) cluster in the colony. By quantifying the similarities between the OCT4 expression amongst neighbouring cells, we show that hESCs express similar OCT4 to cells within their local neighbourhood within the first two days of the experiment and before BMP4 treatment. Our framework allows us to quantify the relevant properties of proliferating hESC colonies and the procedure is widely applicable to other transcription factors and cell populations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: LEW acknowledges support from the London Mathematical Society Early Career Fellowship. SOF acknowledges financial support from the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT, Mexico) for the Grant CVU-174695. IN acknowledges the grant from the Russian Government 641 Program for the recruitment of the leading scientists into 641 Russian Institution of Higher Education 14.w03.31.0029 and RFFI project Grant Number 20-015-00060. ML acknowledges BBSRC UK (BB/I020209/1) for providing financial support for this work. RAB wants to acknowledge financial support from CONACyT (Mexico) through the project 283279.
Uncontrolled Keywords: human embryonic stem cells, OCT4 dynamics, pluripotency, fate transitions
Subjects: C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 16:01
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 15:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45195

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