H3K27me3 Does Not Orchestrate the Expression of Lineage-Specific Markers in hESC-Derived Hepatocytes In Vitro

Jolien Vanhove*, Mariaelena Pistoni*, Marc Welters, Kristel Eggermont, Veerle Vanslembrouck, Nicky Helsen, Ruben Boon, Mustapha Najimi, Etienne Sokal, Philippe Collas, Willem Voncken, Catherine M. Verfaillie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)


Although pluripotent stem cells can be differentiated into the hepatocyte lineages, such cells retain an immature phenotype. As the chromatin state of regulatory regions controls spatiotemporal gene expression during development, we evaluated changes in epigenetic histone marks in lineage-specific genes throughout in vitro hepatocyte differentiation from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Active acetylation and methylation marks at promoters and enhancers correlated with progressive changes in gene expression. However, repression-associated H3K27me3 marks at these control regions showed an inverse correlation with gene repression during transition from hepatic endoderm to a hepatocyte-like state. Inhibitor of Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) reduced H3K27me3 decoration but did not improve hepatocyte maturation. Thus, H3K27me3 at regulatory regions does not regulate transcription and appears dispensable for hepatocyte lineage differentiation of hESCs in vitro.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-206
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2016

Cite this