CDK1-dependent phosphorylation of EZH2 suppresses methylation of H3K27 and promotes osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells.
ABSTRACT: Enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2) is the catalytic subunit of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and catalyses the trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys 27 (H3K27), which represses gene transcription. EZH2 enhances cancer-cell invasiveness and regulates stem cell differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that EZH2 can be phosphorylated at Thr 487 through activation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1). The phosphorylation of EZH2 at Thr 487 disrupted EZH2 binding with the other PRC2 components SUZ12 and EED, and thereby inhibited EZH2 methyltransferase activity, resulting in inhibition of cancer-cell invasion. In human mesenchymal stem cells, activation of CDK1 promoted mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into osteoblasts through phosphorylation of EZH2 at Thr 487. These findings define a signalling link between CDK1 and EZH2 that may have an important role in diverse biological processes, including cancer-cell invasion and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells.
Project description:The H3K27 histone methyltransferase, Ezh2 (enhancer of zeste 2), is a Polycomb group protein that plays important roles in many biological processes including cellular differentiation, stem cell biology, and cancer development. Up-regulation of Ezh2 is observed in various human cancers consistent with its role in cell proliferation. Thus, understanding the regulation of Ezh2 may reveal how it contributes to the cellular proliferation process. Here, we demonstrate that Ezh2 can be regulated by the cyclin-dependent kinase, CDK1, which phosphorylates Ezh2 at threonines 345 and 487. Consistent with the cell cycle phase during which CDK1 exhibits peak activity, Ezh2 phosphorylation is enriched in cells arrested in mitosis when compared with S-phase. Phosphorylation of Thr-345 and Thr-487 promotes Ezh2 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. Furthermore, expression of T345A/T487A confers a proliferative disadvantage when compared with cells expressing wild-type Ezh2, which suggests that phosphorylation of Ezh2 is important for cell proliferation. Collectively, these results establish a novel function for CDK1-mediated Ezh2 phosphorylation and provide a mechanism by which Ezh2 protein levels can be regulated in cells.
Project description:Long non?coding RNA UCA1 alleviates As?induced cell cycle arrest in HepG2 hepatocytes. UCA1 interacts with EZH2 protein to promote its prosurvival function. UCA1 facilitates the interaction between kinase CDK1 and EZH2 to enhance the latter's phosphorylation at the Thr?487 site. NFATc2 is a final executor of UCA1/EZH2 signaling to antagonize the As?blocked cell cycle.
Project description:The Polycomb repressive complexes PRC1 and PRC2 act non-redundantly at target genes to maintain transcriptional programs and ensure cellular identity. PRC2 methylates lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me), while PRC1 mono-ubiquitinates histone H2A at lysine 119 (H2Aub1). Here we present engineered mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) targeting the PRC2 subunits EZH1 and EZH2 to discriminate between contributions of distinct H3K27 methylation states and the presence of PRC2/1 at chromatin. We generate catalytically inactive EZH2 mutant ESCs, demonstrating that H3K27 methylation, but not recruitment to the chromatin, is essential for proper ESC differentiation. We further show that EZH1 activity is sufficient to maintain repression of Polycomb targets by depositing H3K27me2/3 and preserving PRC1 recruitment. This occurs in the presence of altered H3K27me1 deposition at actively transcribed genes and by a diffused hyperacetylation of chromatin that compromises ESC developmental potential. Overall, this work provides insights for the contribution of diffuse chromatin invasion by acetyltransferases in PRC2-dependent loss of developmental control.
Project description:The Polycomb-repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is important for maintenance of stem cell pluripotency and suppression of cell differentiation by promoting histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) and transcriptional repression of differentiation genes. Here we show that the tumour-suppressor protein BRCA1 interacts with the Polycomb protein EZH2 in mouse embryonic stem (ES) and human breast cancer cells. The BRCA1-binding region in EZH2 overlaps with the noncoding RNA (ncRNA)-binding domain, and BRCA1 expression inhibits the binding of EZH2 to the HOTAIR ncRNA. Decreased expression of BRCA1 causes genome-wide EZH2 re-targeting and elevates H3K27me3 levels at PRC2 target loci in both mouse ES and human breast cancer cells. BRCA1 deficiency blocks ES cell differentiation and enhances breast cancer migration and invasion in an EZH2-dependent manner. These results reveal that BRCA1 is a key negative modulator of PRC2 and that loss of BRCA1 inhibits ES cell differentiation and enhances an aggressive breast cancer phenotype by affecting PRC2 function.
Project description:Polycomb-group proteins form multimeric protein complexes involved in transcriptional silencing. The Polycomb Repressive complex 2 (PRC2) contains the Suppressor of Zeste-12 protein (Suz12) and the histone methyltransferase Enhancer of Zeste protein-2 (Ezh2). This complex, catalyzing the di- and tri-methylation of histone H3 lysine 27, is essential for embryonic development and stem cell renewal. However, the role of Polycomb-group protein complexes in the control of the intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) phenotype is not known. We show that Suz12 and Ezh2 were differentially expressed along the intestinal crypt-villus axis. ShRNA-mediated Suz12 depletion in the IEC-6 rat crypt-derived cell line decreased Ezh2 expression and H3K27 di-trimethylation. Suz12-depleted cells achieved higher cell densities after confluence, with increased cyclin D2 and cyclin D3 protein levels, and increased STAT3 activation in post-confluent cells. Suz12 depletion specifically increased mostly developmental, cell adhesion and immune response gene expression, including neuronal and inflammatory genes. Suz12 depletion directly and indirectly de-regulated the IL-1?-dependent inflammatory response, as demonstrated by decreased MAPK p38 activation as opposed to JNK activation, and altered basal and stimulated expression of inflammatory genes, including transcription factors such as C/EBP?. Of note, this positive effect on cell proliferation and inflammatory gene expression was revealed in the absence of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16, a main target negatively regulated by PRC2. These results demonstrate that the PRC2 complex, in addition to keeping in check non-IEC differentiation pathways, insures the proper IEC response to cell density as well as to external growth and inflammatory signals, by controlling specific signaling pathways.
Project description:Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are key regulators of stem-cell and cancer biology. They mainly act as repressors of differentiation and tumor-suppressor genes. One key silencing step involves the trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys27 (H3K27) by EZH2, a core component of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). The mechanism underlying the initial recruitment of mammalian PRC2 complexes is not well understood. Here, we show that NIPP1, a regulator of protein Ser/Thr phosphatase-1 (PP1), forms a complex with PP1 and PRC2 components on chromatin. The knockdown of NIPP1 or PP1 reduced the association of EZH2 with a subset of its target genes, whereas the overexpression of NIPP1 resulted in a retargeting of EZH2 from fully repressed to partially active PcG targets. However, the expression of a PP1-binding mutant of NIPP1 (NIPP1m) did not cause a redistribution of EZH2. Moreover, mapping of the chromatin binding sites with the DamID technique revealed that NIPP1 was associated with multiple PcG target genes, including the Homeobox A cluster, whereas NIPP1m showed a deficient binding at these loci. We propose that NIPP1 associates with a subset of PcG targets in a PP1-dependent manner and thereby contributes to the recruitment of the PRC2 complex.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is responsible for establishing and maintaining histone H3K27 methylation during cell differentiation and proliferation. H3K27 can be mono-, di-, or trimethylated, resulting in differential gene regulation. However, it remains unknown how PRC2 specifies the degree and biological effects of H3K27 methylation within a given cellular context. One way to determine PRC2 specificity may be through alternative splicing of Ezh2, PRC2's catalytic subunit, during cell differentiation and tissue maturation. RESULTS:We fully characterized the alternative splicing of Ezh2 in somatic cells and male germ cells and found that Ezh's exon 14 was differentially regulated during mitosis and meiosis. The Ezh2 isoform containing exon 14 (ex14-Ezh2) is upregulated during cell cycle progression, consistent with a role in maintaining H3K27 methylation during chromatin replication. In contrast, the isoform lacking exon 14 (ex14D-Ezh2) was almost exclusively present in spermatocytes when new H3K27me2 is established during meiotic differentiation. Moreover, Ezh2's transcript is normally controlled by E2F transcription activators, but in spermatocytes, Ezh2's transcription is controlled by the meiotic regulator MYBL1. Compared to ex14-EZH2, ex14D-EZH2 has a diminished efficiency for catalyzing H3K27me3 and promotes embryonic stem cell differentiation. CONCLUSIONS:Ezh2's expression is regulated at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in a cellular context-dependent manner. EZH2 variants determine functional specificity of PRC2 in histone methylation during cell proliferation and differentiation.
Project description:The symptoms of ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) include a progressive neurodegeneration caused by ATM protein deficiency. We previously found that nuclear accumulation of histone deacetylase-4, HDAC4, contributes to this degeneration; we now report that increased trimethylation of histone H3 on Lys27 (H3K27me3) mediated by polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is also important in the A-T phenotype. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a core catalytic component of PRC2, is a new ATM kinase target, and ATM-mediated phosphorylation of EZH2 on Ser734 reduces protein stability. Thus, PRC2 formation is elevated along with H3K27me3 in ATM deficiency. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing showed an increase in H3K27me3 'marks' and a dramatic shift in their location. The change of H3K27me3 chromatin-binding pattern is directly related to cell cycle reentry and cell death of ATM-deficient neurons. Lentiviral knockdown of EZH2 rescued Purkinje cell degeneration and behavioral abnormalities in Atm(-/-) mice, demonstrating that EZH2 hyperactivity is another key factor in A-T neurodegeneration.
Project description:The Polycomb group (PcG) protein, enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (EZH2), has an essential role in promoting histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) and epigenetic gene silencing. This function of EZH2 is important for cell proliferation and inhibition of cell differentiation, and is implicated in cancer progression. Here, we demonstrate that under physiological conditions, cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) phosphorylate EZH2 at Thr 350 in an evolutionarily conserved motif. Phosphorylation of Thr 350 is important for recruitment of EZH2 and maintenance of H3K27me3 levels at EZH2-target loci. Blockage of Thr 350 phosphorylation not only diminishes the global effect of EZH2 on gene silencing, it also mitigates EZH2-mediated cell proliferation and migration. These results demonstrate that CDK-mediated phosphorylation is a key mechanism governing EZH2 function and that there is a link between the cell-cycle machinery and epigenetic gene silencing.
Project description:The histone methyltransferase activity of PRC2 is central to the formation of H3K27me3-decorated facultative heterochromatin and gene silencing. In addition, PRC2 has been shown to automethylate its core subunits, EZH1/EZH2 and SUZ12. Here, we identify the lysine residues at which EZH1/EZH2 are automethylated with EZH2-K510 and EZH2-K514 being the major such sites in vivo. Automethylated EZH2/PRC2 exhibits a higher level of histone methyltransferase activity and is required for attaining proper cellular levels of H3K27me3. While occurring independently of PRC2 recruitment to chromatin, automethylation promotes PRC2 accessibility to the histone H3 tail. Intriguingly, EZH2 automethylation is significantly reduced in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) cells that carry a lysine-to-methionine substitution in histone H3 (H3K27M), but not in cells that carry either EZH2 or EED mutants that abrogate PRC2 allosteric activation, indicating that H3K27M impairs the intrinsic activity of PRC2. Our study demonstrates a PRC2 self-regulatory mechanism through its EZH1/2-mediated automethylation activity.