Serine Threonine Kinase Receptor-Associated Protein Deficiency Impairs Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Lineage Commitment Through CYP26A1-Mediated Retinoic Acid Homeostasis

Academic Article


  • Retinoic acid (RA) signaling is essential for the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and vertebrate development. RA biosynthesis and metabolism are controlled by a series of enzymes, but the molecular regulators of these enzymes remain largely obscure. In this study, we investigated the functional role of the WD-domain protein STRAP (serine threonine kinase receptor-associated protein) in the pluripotency and lineage commitment of murine ESCs. We generated Strap knockout (KO) mouse ESCs and subjected them to spontaneous differentiation. We observed that, despite the unchanged characteristics of ESCs, Strap KO ESCs exhibited defects for lineage differentiation. Signature gene expression analyses revealed that Strap deletion attenuated intracellular RA signaling in embryoid bodies (EBs), and exogenous RA significantly rescued this deficiency. Moreover, loss of Strap selectively induced Cyp26A1 expression in mouse EBs, suggesting a potential role of STRAP in RA signaling. Mechanistically, we identified putative Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) binding motifs to be critical in the enhancement of non-canonical RA-induced transactivation of Cyp26A1. Increased KLF9 expression in the absence of STRAP is partially responsible for Cyp26A1 induction. Interestingly, STRAP knockdown in Xenopus embryos influenced anterior-posterior neural patterning and impaired the body axis and eye development during early Xenopus embryogenesis. Taken together, our study reveals an intrinsic role for STRAP in the regulation of RA signaling and provides new molecular insights for ESC fate determination. Stem Cells 2018;36:1368–1379.
  • Published In

  • STEM CELLS  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jin L; Chang C; Pawlik KM; Datta A; Johnson LM; Vu T; Napoli JL; Datta PK
  • Start Page

  • 1368
  • End Page

  • 1379
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 9