Serine Metabolism Controls Dental Pulp Stem Cell Aging by Regulating the DNA Methylation of p16

R L Yang, H M Huang, C S Han, S J Cui, Y K Zhou, Y H Zhou
Journal of Dental Research 2020 September 17, : 22034520958374
To investigate the characteristics and molecular events of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) for tissue regeneration with aging, we isolated and analyzed the stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) and permanent teeth of young (Y-DPSCs) and old (A-DPSCs) adults. Results showed that the stemness and osteogenic differentiation capacity of DPSCs decreased with aging. The RNA sequencing results showed that glycine, serine, and threonine metabolism was one of the most enriched gene clusters among SHED, Y-DPSCs, and A-DPSCs, according to analysis based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. The expression of serine metabolism-related enzymes phosphoserine aminotransferase 1 (PSAT1) and phosphoglycerate (PHGDH) decreased in A-DPSCs and provided less methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) for DNA methylation, leading to the hypomethylation of the senescence marker p16 (CDNK2A). Furthermore, the proliferation and differentiation capacity of Y-DPSCs and SHED decreased after PHGDH siRNA treatment, which reduced the level of SAM. Convincingly, the ratios of PSAT1-, PHGDH-, or proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells in the dental pulp of old permanent teeth were less than those in the dental pulp of deciduous teeth and young permanent teeth. In summary, the stemness and differentiation capacity of DPSCs decreased with aging. The decreased serine metabolism in A-DPSCs upregulated the expression of p16 via attenuating its DNA methylation, resulting in DPSC aging. Our finding indicated that serine metabolism and 1 carbon unit participated in stem cell aging, which provided new direction for stem cell aging study and intervention.

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