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Hyperosmotic stress induces 2-cell-like cells through ROS and ATR signaling

EMBO Reports article from the Torres-Padilla Lab


Antoine Canat, Derya Atilla, Maria Elena Torres-Padilla (11 Jul 2023) Hyperosmotic stress induces 2-cell-like cells through ROS and ATR signaling. EMBO reports (2023) e56194. https://doi.org/10.15252/embr.202256194

Abstract cited directly from the article:Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) display pluripotency features characteristic of the inner cell mass of the blastocyst. Mouse embryonic stem cell cultures are highly heterogeneous and include a rare population of cells, which recapitulate characteristics of the 2-cell embryo, referred to as 2-cell-like cells (2CLCs). Whether and how ESC and 2CLC respond to environmental cues has not been fully elucidated. Here, we investigate the impact of mechanical stress on the reprogramming of ESC to 2CLC. We show that hyperosmotic stress induces 2CLC and that this induction can occur even after a recovery time from hyperosmotic stress, suggesting a memory response. Hyperosmotic stress in ESCs leads to accumulation of reactive-oxygen species (ROS) and ATR checkpoint activation. Importantly, preventing either elevated ROS levels or ATR activation impairs hyperosmotic-mediated 2CLC induction. We further show that ROS generation and the ATR checkpoint act within the same molecular pathway in response to hyperosmotic stress to induce 2CLCs. Altogether, these results shed light on the response of ESC to mechanical stress and on our understanding of 2CLC reprogramming.