LIN28 phosphorylation by MAPK/ERK couples signalling to the post-transcriptional control of pluripotency

Kaloyan M. Tsanov, Daniel S. Pearson, Zhaoting Wu, Areum Han, Robinson Triboulet, Marc T. Seligson, John T. Powers, Jihan K. Osborne, Susan Kane, Steven P. Gygi, Richard I. Gregory, George Q. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Signalling and post-transcriptional gene control are both critical for the regulation of pluripotency, yet how they are integrated to influence cell identity remains poorly understood. LIN28 (also known as LIN28A), a highly conserved RNA-binding protein, has emerged as a central post-transcriptional regulator of cell fate through blockade of let-7 microRNA biogenesis and direct modulation of mRNA translation. Here we show that LIN28 is phosphorylated by MAPK/ERK in pluripotent stem cells, which increases its levels via post-translational stabilization. LIN28 phosphorylation had little impact on let-7 but enhanced the effect of LIN28 on its direct mRNA targets, revealing a mechanism that uncouples LIN28's let-7-dependent and -independent activities. We have linked this mechanism to the induction of pluripotency by somatic cell reprogramming and the transition from naive to primed pluripotency. Collectively, our findings indicate that MAPK/ERK directly impacts LIN28, defining an axis that connects signalling, post-transcriptional gene control, and cell fate regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalNature cell biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'LIN28 phosphorylation by MAPK/ERK couples signalling to the post-transcriptional control of pluripotency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this