System-wide temporal characterization of the proteome and phosphoproteome of human embryonic stem cell differentiation

Kristoffer T G Rigbolt, Tatyana A Prokhorova, Vyacheslav Akimov, Jeanette Henningsen, Pia Thermann Johansen, Irina Kratchmarova, Moustapha Kassem, Matthias Mann, Jesper V Olsen, Blagoy Blagoev

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


To elucidate cellular events underlying the pluripotency of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), we performed parallel quantitative proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses of hESCs during differentiation initiated by a diacylglycerol analog or transfer to media that had not been conditioned by feeder cells. We profiled 6521 proteins and 23,522 phosphorylation sites, of which almost 50% displayed dynamic changes in phosphorylation status during 24 hours of differentiation. These data are a resource for studies of the events associated with the maintenance of hESC pluripotency and those accompanying their differentiation. From these data, we identified a core hESC phosphoproteome of sites with similar robust changes in response to the two distinct treatments. These sites exhibited distinct dynamic phosphorylation patterns, which were linked to known or predicted kinases on the basis of the matching sequence motif. In addition to identifying previously unknown phosphorylation sites on factors associated with differentiation, such as kinases and transcription factors, we observed dynamic phosphorylation of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). We found a specific interaction of DNMTs during early differentiation with the PAF1 (polymerase-associated factor 1) transcriptional elongation complex, which binds to promoters of the pluripotency and known DNMT target genes encoding OCT4 and NANOG, thereby providing a possible molecular link for the silencing of these genes during differentiation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number164
Pages (from-to)rs3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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