Conserved higher-order chromatin regulates NMDA receptor gene expression and cognition.
ABSTRACT: Three-dimensional chromosomal conformations regulate transcription by moving enhancers and regulatory elements into spatial proximity with target genes. Here we describe activity-regulated long-range loopings bypassing up to 0.5 Mb of linear genome to modulate NMDA glutamate receptor GRIN2B expression in human and mouse prefrontal cortex. Distal intronic and 3' intergenic loop formations competed with repressor elements to access promoter-proximal sequences, and facilitated expression via a "cargo" of AP-1 and NRF-1 transcription factors and TALE-based transcriptional activators. Neuronal deletion or overexpression of Kmt2a/Mll1 H3K4- and Kmt1e/Setdb1 H3K9-methyltransferase was associated with higher-order chromatin changes at distal regulatory Grin2b sequences and impairments in working memory. Genetic polymorphisms and isogenic deletions of loop-bound sequences conferred liability for cognitive performance and decreased GRIN2B expression. Dynamic regulation of chromosomal conformations emerges as a novel layer for transcriptional mechanisms impacting neuronal signaling and cognition.
Project description:We report locus-specific disintegration of megabase-scale chromosomal conformations in brain after neuronal ablation of Setdb1 (also known as Kmt1e; encodes a histone H3 lysine 9 methyltransferase), including a large topologically associated 1.2-Mb domain conserved in humans and mice that encompasses >70 genes at the clustered protocadherin locus (hereafter referred to as cPcdh). The cPcdh topologically associated domain (TADcPcdh) in neurons from mutant mice showed abnormal accumulation of the transcriptional regulator and three-dimensional (3D) genome organizer CTCF at cryptic binding sites, in conjunction with DNA cytosine hypomethylation, histone hyperacetylation and upregulated expression. Genes encoding stochastically expressed protocadherins were transcribed by increased numbers of cortical neurons, indicating relaxation of single-cell constraint. SETDB1-dependent loop formations bypassed 0.2-1 Mb of linear genome and radiated from the TADcPcdh fringes toward cis-regulatory sequences within the cPcdh locus, counterbalanced shorter-range facilitative promoter-enhancer contacts and carried loop-bound polymorphisms that were associated with genetic risk for schizophrenia. We show that the SETDB1 repressor complex, which involves multiple KRAB zinc finger proteins, shields neuronal genomes from excess CTCF binding and is critically required for structural maintenance of TADcPcdh.
Project description:Histone methyltransferases specific for the histone H3-lysine 9 residue, including Setdb1 (Set domain, bifurcated 1)/Eset/Kmt1e are associated with repressive chromatin remodeling and expressed in adult brain, but potential effects on neuronal function and behavior remain unexplored. Here, we report that transgenic mice with increased Setdb1 expression in adult forebrain neurons show antidepressant-like phenotypes in behavioral paradigms for anhedonia, despair, and learned helplessness. Chromatin immunoprecipitation in conjunction with DNA tiling arrays (ChIP-chip) revealed that genomic occupancies of neuronal Setdb1 are limited to <1% of annotated genes, which include the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B/Grin2B and other ionotropic glutamate receptor genes. Chromatin conformation capture and Setdb1-ChIP revealed a loop formation tethering the NR2B/Grin2b promoter to the Setdb1 target site positioned 30 kb downstream of the transcription start site. In hippocampus and ventral striatum, two key structures in the neuronal circuitry regulating mood-related behaviors, Setdb1-mediated repressive histone methylation at NR2B/Grin2b was associated with decreased NR2B expression and EPSP insensitivity to pharmacological blockade of NR2B, and accelerated NMDA receptor desensitization consistent with a shift in NR2A/B subunit ratios. In wild-type mice, systemic treatment with the NR2B antagonist, Ro25-6981 [R-(R,S)-alpha-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-beta-methyl-4-(phenylmethyl)-1-piperidine propranol], and hippocampal small interfering RNA-mediated NR2B/Grin2b knockdown resulted in behavioral changes similar to those elicited by the Setdb1 transgene. Together, these findings point to a role for neuronal Setdb1 in the regulation of affective and motivational behaviors through repressive chromatin remodeling at a select set of target genes, resulting in altered NMDA receptor subunit composition and other molecular adaptations.
Project description:We report locus-specific disintegration of megabase-scale chromosomal conformations after Kmt1e/Setdb1 histone H3-lysine 9 methyltransferase ablation in mouse brian. Histone modification, CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), transcriptome and ‘3D genome’ (in situ Hi-C) mappings each identified a uniquely affected ~1Mb domain on chromosome 18 in cortical and striatal neurons, encompassing the Protocadherin cell adhesion gene clusters (cPcdh). Setdb1-deficient neuronal genomes showed de novo CTCF occupancies at thousands of cryptic binding sites and locus-specific disintegration of 1Mb cPcdh higher order chromatin. Loss of long-range repressive chromosomal conformations triggered massively increased proportions of neurons expressing specific cPcdh genes due to relaxation of stochastic constraint. Setdb1, shielding mature neuronal genomes from excess CTCF binding, maintains TAD integrity essential for mouse brain function. Overall design: RNAseq, histone H3K9me3 ChIPseq, H3K27ac ChIPseq, CTCF ChIPseq, and in situ HiC on anti-NeuN+ neuronal nuclei from adult Setdb1 WT and KO cortex
Project description:Nonrandom chromosomal conformations, including promoter-enhancer loopings that bypass kilobases or megabases of linear genome, provide a crucial layer of transcriptional regulation and move vast amounts of non-coding sequence into the physical proximity of genes that are important for neurodevelopment, cognition and behaviour. Activity-regulated changes in the neuronal '3D genome' could govern transcriptional mechanisms associated with learning and plasticity, and loop-bound intergenic and intronic non-coding sequences have been implicated in psychiatric and adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Recent studies have begun to clarify the roles of spatial genome organization in normal and abnormal cognition.
Project description:Neuronal epigenomes, including chromosomal loopings moving distal cis-regulatory elements into proximity of target genes, could serve as molecular proxy linking present-day-behaviour to past exposures. However, longitudinal assessment of chromatin state is challenging, because conventional chromosome conformation capture assays essentially provide single snapshots at a given time point, thus reflecting genome organization at the time of brain harvest and therefore are non-informative about the past. Here we introduce 'NeuroDam' to assess epigenome status retrospectively. Short-term expression of the bacterial DNA adenine methyltransferase Dam, tethered to the Gad1 gene promoter in mouse prefrontal cortex neurons, results in stable G(methyl)ATC tags at Gad1-bound chromosomal contacts. We show by NeuroDam that mice with defective cognition 4 months after pharmacological NMDA receptor blockade already were affected by disrupted chromosomal conformations shortly after drug exposure. Retrospective profiling of neuronal epigenomes is likely to illuminate epigenetic determinants of normal and diseased brain development in longitudinal context.
Project description:Dynamic regulation of histone methylation by methyltransferases and demethylases plays a central role in regulating the fate of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The histone H3K9 methyltransferase KMT1E, formerly known as ESET or Setdb1, is essential to embryonic development as the ablation of the Setdb1 gene results in peri-implantation lethality and prevents the propagation of ES cells. However, Setdb1- null blastocysts do not display global changes in H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation, arguing against a genome- wide defect. Here we show that conditional deletion of the Setdb1 gene in ES cells results in the upregulation of lineage differentiation markers, especially trophectoderm-specific factors, similar to effects observed upon loss of Oct3/4 expression in ES cells. We demonstrate that KMT1E deficiency in ES cells leads to a decrease in histone H3K9 methylation at and derepression of trophoblast-associated genes such as Cdx2. Furthermore, we find genes that are derepressed upon Setdb1 deletion to overlap with known targets of polycomb mediated repression, suggesting that KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation acts in concert with polycomb controlled H3K27 methylation. Our studies thus demonstrate an essential role for KMT1E in the control of developmentally regulated gene expression programs in ES cells. Analysis of KMT1E-deficiency in mouse embryonic stem cells using a Setdb1 conditional allele and tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxP recombination
Project description:Dynamic regulation of histone methylation by methyltransferases and demethylases plays a central role in regulating the fate of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The histone H3K9 methyltransferase KMT1E, formerly known as ESET or Setdb1, is essential to embryonic development as the ablation of the Setdb1 gene results in peri-implantation lethality and prevents the propagation of ES cells. However, Setdb1- null blastocysts do not display global changes in H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation, arguing against a genome- wide defect. Here we show that conditional deletion of the Setdb1 gene in ES cells results in the upregulation of lineage differentiation markers, especially trophectoderm-specific factors, similar to effects observed upon loss of Oct3/4 expression in ES cells. We demonstrate that KMT1E deficiency in ES cells leads to a decrease in histone H3K9 methylation at and derepression of trophoblast-associated genes such as Cdx2. Furthermore, we find genes that are derepressed upon Setdb1 deletion to overlap with known targets of polycomb mediated repression, suggesting that KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation acts in concert with polycomb controlled H3K27 methylation. Our studies thus demonstrate an essential role for KMT1E in the control of developmentally regulated gene expression programs in ES cells. Overall design: Analysis of KMT1E-deficiency in mouse embryonic stem cells using a Setdb1 conditional allele and tamoxifen-inducible Cre/loxP recombination
Project description:Rett syndrome (RTT, OMIM # 312750), a neurodevelopmental disorder of early childhood, is primarily caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Various molecular functions have been ascribed to MECP2, including the regulation of histone modifications associated with repressive chromatin remodeling, but the role of these mechanisms for the pathophysiology of RTT remains unclear. Here, we explore whether or not neuronal expression of the histone H3-lysine 9 specific methyl-transferase, Setdb1 (Set domain, bifurcated 1)/Eset/Kmt1e, which is normally present only at low levels in differentiated neurons, rescues the RTT-like phenotype of Mecp2-deficient mice. A myc-tagged Setdb1 cDNA was expressed through the tau locus for ubiquitous expression in CNS neurons, or under control of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CK) promoter to selectively target postmitotic neurons in forebrain. However, the CK-Setdb1 transgene lead to an enhanced neurological deficit, and the tauSetdb1 allele further shortened life span of mice with a brain-wide deletion of Mecp2 during prenatal development. In contrast, no neurological deficits or premature death was observed in CK-Setdb1 and tauSetdb1 mice expressing wildtype Mecp2. However, levels of trimethylated H3K9 at pericentromeric repeats were fully maintained in differentiated neurons from symptomatic Mecp2 null mutant mice. Based on these results, we draw two conclusions: First, neuronal chromatin in RTT brain is not affected by a generalized deficit in H3K9 trimethylation. Second, artificial up-regulation of this repressive chromatin mark via Setdb1 gene delivery specifically to neurons is harmful for the Mecp2-deficient brain. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Trends in neuropharmacology: in memory of Erminio Costa'.
Project description:Here, we mapped cell-type specific chromatin domain organization in adult mouse cerebral cortex and report strong enrichment of Endogenous Retrovirus 2 (ERV2) repeat sequences in the neuron-specific heterochromatic 'B2NeuN+' megabase-scaling subcompartment. Comparative chromosomal conformation mapping in Mus spretus and Mus musculus revealed neuron-specific reconfigurations tracking recent ERV2 retrotransposon expansions in the murine germline, with significantly higher B2 megadomain contact frequencies at sites with ongoing ERV2 insertions in Mus musculus. Ablation of the retrotransposon silencer Kmt1e/Setdb1 (KO) triggered B2 megadomain disintegration and rewiring with open chromatin domains enriched for cellular stress response genes, along with severe neuroinflammation and proviral assembly of ERV2/Intracisternal-A-Particles (IAPs) infiltrating dendrites and spines. We conclude that neuronal megadomain architectures include evolutionarily adaptive heterochromatic organization which, upon perturbation, unleashes ERV proviruses with strong tropism within mature neurons. Overall design: Chromatin configurations, histone modifications, RNA, and open chromatin profiles in wildtype and Setdb1 fl/fl x Camk2a-Cre mice; chromatin configurations in SPRET/EiJ and C57/BL6J mice; targeted de novo insertions in wildtype mice
Project description:A prenatal case presenting with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and distal 16p11.2 microdeletion suggests two possible causative hypotheses: (1) a functional effect of chromatin loopings between the distal and the proximal 16p11.2 microdeletion traits, associated with CHD; (2) a possible role of ATP2A1, a deleted gene involved in diaphragm development.