Catalytic-dependent and -independent roles of TET3 in the regulation of specific genetic programs during neuroectoderm specification. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ten-eleven-translocation family of proteins (TET1/2/3) are epigenetic regulators of gene expression. They regulate genes by promoting DNA demethylation (i.e., catalytic activity) and by partnering with regulatory proteins (i.e., non-catalytic functions). Unlike Tet1 and Tet2, Tet3 is not expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) but is induced upon ESC differentiation. However, the significance of its dual roles in lineage specification is less defined. By generating TET3 catalytic-mutant (Tet3m/m) and knockout (Tet3-/-) mouse ESCs and differentiating them to neuroectoderm (NE), we identify distinct catalytic-dependent and independent roles of TET3 in NE specification. We find that the catalytic activity of TET3 is important for activation of neural genes while its non-catalytic functions are involved in suppressing mesodermal programs. Interestingly, the vast majority of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in Tet3m/m and Tet3-/- NE cells are hypomethylated. The hypo-DMRs are associated to aberrantly upregulated genes while the hyper-DMRs are linked to downregulated neural genes. We find the maintenance methyltransferase Dnmt1 as a direct target of TET3, which is downregulated in TET3-deficient NE cells and may contribute to the increased DNA hypomethylation. Our findings establish that the catalytic-dependent and -independent roles of TET3 have distinct contributions to NE specification with potential implications in development.

published proceedings

  • Commun Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Ketchum, H. C., Suzuki, M., & Dawlaty, M. M.

complete list of authors

  • Ketchum, Harmony C||Suzuki, Masako||Dawlaty, Meelad M

publication date

  • April 2024