Dynamic regulation of Schwann cell enhancers after peripheral nerve injury.
ABSTRACT: Myelination of the peripheral nervous system is required for axonal function and long term stability. After peripheral nerve injury, Schwann cells transition from axon myelination to a demyelinated state that supports neuronal survival and ultimately remyelination of axons. Reprogramming of gene expression patterns during development and injury responses is shaped by the actions of distal regulatory elements that integrate the actions of multiple transcription factors. We used ChIP-seq to measure changes in histone H3K27 acetylation, a mark of active enhancers, to identify enhancers in myelinating rat peripheral nerve and their dynamics after demyelinating nerve injury. Analysis of injury-induced enhancers identified enriched motifs for c-Jun, a transcription factor required for Schwann cells to support nerve regeneration. We identify a c-Jun-bound enhancer in the gene for Runx2, a transcription factor induced after nerve injury, and we show that Runx2 is required for activation of other induced genes. In contrast, enhancers that lose H3K27ac after nerve injury are enriched for binding sites of the Sox10 and early growth response 2 (Egr2/Krox20) transcription factors, which are critical determinants of Schwann cell differentiation. Egr2 expression is lost after nerve injury, and many Egr2-binding sites lose H3K27ac after nerve injury. However, the majority of Egr2-bound enhancers retain H3K27ac, indicating that other transcription factors maintain active enhancer status after nerve injury. The global epigenomic changes in H3K27ac deposition pinpoint dynamic changes in enhancers that mediate the effects of transcription factors that control Schwann cell myelination and peripheral nervous system responses to nerve injury.
Project description:Egr2 is a transcription factor required for peripheral nerve myelination in rodents, and mutations in Egr2 are associated with congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy (CHN) in humans. To further study its role in myelination, we generated mice harboring a hypomorphic Egr2 allele (Egr2Lo) that survive for up to 3 weeks postnatally, a period of active myelination in rodents. These Egr2Lo/Lo mice provided the opportunity to study the molecular effects of Egr2 deficiency on Schwann cell biology, an analysis that was not possible previously, because of the perinatal lethality of Egr2-null mice. Egr2Lo/Lo mice phenocopy CHN, as evidenced by the severe hypomyelination and increased numbers of proliferating Schwann cells of the peripheral nerves. Comparison of sciatic nerve gene expression profiles during development and after crush injury with those of Egr2Lo/Lo Schwann cells revealed that they are developmentally arrested, with down-regulation of myelination-related genes and up-regulation of genes associated with immature and promyelinating Schwann cells. One of the abnormally elevated genes in Egr2Lo/Lo Schwann cells, Sox2, encodes a transcription factor that is crucial for maintenance of neural stem cell pluripotency. Wild-type Schwann cells infected with Sox2 adenovirus or lentivirus inhibited expression of myelination-associated genes (e.g., myelin protein zero; Mpz), and failed to myelinate axons in vitro, but had an enhanced proliferative response to beta-neuregulin. The characterization of a mouse model of CHN has provided insight into Schwann cell differentiation and allowed the identification of Sox2 as a negative regulator of myelination.
Project description:Regeneration of peripheral nerve injury remains a major clinical challenge. Recently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been considered as potential candidates for peripheral nerve regeneration; however, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we show that human gingiva-derived MSCs (GMSCs) could be directly induced into multipotent NPCs (iNPCs) under minimally manipulated conditions without the introduction of exogenous genes. Using a crush-injury model of rat sciatic nerve, we demonstrate that GMSCs transplanted to the injury site could differentiate into neuronal cells, whereas iNPCs could differentiate into both neuronal and Schwann cells. After crush injury, iNPCs, compared with GMSCs, displayed superior therapeutic effects on axonal regeneration at both the injury site and the distal segment of the injured sciatic nerve. Mechanistically, transplantation of GMSCs, especially iNPCs, significantly attenuated injury-triggered increase in the expression of c-Jun, a transcription factor that functions as a major negative regulator of myelination and plays a central role in dedifferentiation/reprogramming of Schwann cells into a progenitor-like state. Meanwhile, our results also demonstrate that transplantation of GMSCs and iNPCs consistently increased the expression of Krox-20/EGR2, a transcription factor that governs the expression of myelin proteins and facilitates myelination. Altogether, our findings suggest that transplantation of GMSCs and iNPCs promotes peripheral nerve repair/regeneration, possibly by promoting remyelination of Schwann cells mediated via the regulation of the antagonistic myelination regulators, c-Jun and Krox-20/EGR2. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:458-470.
Project description:Several key transcription factors and coregulators important to peripheral nerve myelination have been identified, but the contributions of specific chromatin remodeling complexes to peripheral nerve myelination have not been analyzed. Chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (Chd4) is the core catalytic subunit of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) chromatin remodeling complex. Previous studies have shown Chd4 interacts with Nab (NGFI-A/Egr-binding) corepressors, which are required for early growth response 2 (Egr2/Krox20), to direct peripheral nerve myelination by Schwann cells. In this study, we examined the developmental importance of the NuRD complex in peripheral nerve myelination through the generation of conditional Chd4 knock-out mice in Schwann cells (Chd4(loxP/loxP); P0-cre). Chd4 conditional null mice were found to have delayed myelination, radial sorting defects, hypomyelination, and the persistence of promyelinating Schwann cells. Loss of Chd4 leads to elevated expression of immature Schwann cell genes (Id2, c-Jun, and p75), and sustained expression of the promyelinating Schwann cell gene, Oct6/Scip, without affecting the levels of Egr2/Krox20. Furthermore, Schwann cell proliferation is upregulated in Chd4-null sciatic nerve. In vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation studies reveal recruitment of Chd4 and another NuRD component, Mta2, to genes that are positively and negatively regulated by Egr2 during myelination. Together, these results underscore the necessity of Chd4 function to guide proper terminal differentiation of Schwann cells and implicate the NuRD chromatin remodeling complex as a requisite factor in timely and stable peripheral nerve myelination.
Project description:Myelin is formed by specialized myelinating glia: oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems, respectively. While there are distinct developmental aspects and regulatory pathways in these two cell types, myelination in both systems requires the transcriptional activator Sox10. Sox10 interacts with cell type-specific transcription factors at some loci to induce myelin gene expression, but it is largely unknown how Sox10 transcriptional networks globally compare between oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. We used in vivo ChIP-Seq analysis of spinal cord and peripheral nerve (sciatic nerve) to identify unique and shared Sox10 binding sites and assess their correlation with active enhancers and transcriptional profiles in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. Sox10 binding sites overlap with active enhancers and critical cell type-specific regulators of myelination, such as Olig2 and Myrf in oligodendrocytes, and Egr2/Krox20 in Schwann cells. Sox10 sites also associate with genes critical for myelination in both oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells and are found within super-enhancers previously defined in brain. In Schwann cells, Sox10 sites contain binding motifs of putative partners in the Sp/Klf, Tead, and nuclear receptor protein families. Specifically, siRNA analysis of nuclear receptors Nr2f1 and Nr2f2 revealed downregulation of myelin genes Mbp and Ndrg1 in primary Schwann cells. Our analysis highlights different mechanisms that establish cell type-specific genomic occupancy of Sox10, which reflects the unique characteristics of oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell differentiation. GLIA 2015;63:1897-1914.
Project description:Myelination of peripheral nerves by Schwann cells depends upon a gene regulatory network controlled by early growth response Egr2/Krox20, which is specifically required for Schwann cells to initiate and maintain myelination. To elucidate the mechanism by which Egr2 regulates gene expression during myelination, we have performed chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis on myelinating rat sciatic nerve in vivo. The resulting samples were applied to a tiled microarray consisting of a broad spectrum of genes that are activated or repressed in Egr2-deficient mice. The results show extensive binding within myelin-associated genes, as well as some genes that become repressed in myelinating Schwann cells. Many of the Egr2 peaks coincide with regions of open chromatin, which is a marker of enhancer regions. In addition, further analysis showed that there is substantial colocalization of Egr2 binding with Sox10, a transcription factor required for Schwann cell specification and other stages of Schwann cell development. Finally, we have found that Egr2 binds to promoters of several lipid biosynthetic genes, which is consistent with their dramatic up-regulation during the formation of lipid-rich myelin. Overall, this analysis provides a locus-wide profile of Egr2 binding patterns in major myelin-associated genes using myelinating peripheral nerve.
Project description:Myelin is essential for the rapidity of saltatory nerve conduction, and also provides trophic support for axons to prevent axonal degeneration. Two critical determinants of myelination are SOX10 and EGR2/KROX20. SOX10 is required for specification of Schwann cells from neural crest, and is required at every stage of Schwann cell development. Egr2/Krox20 expression is activated by axonal signals in myelinating Schwann cells, and is required for cell cycle arrest and myelin formation. To elucidate the integrated function of these two transcription factors during peripheral nerve myelination, we performed in vivo ChIP-Seq analysis of myelinating peripheral nerve. Integration of these binding data with loss-of-function array data identified a range of genes regulated by these factors. In addition, although SOX10 itself regulates Egr2/Krox20 expression, leading to coordinate activation of several major myelin genes by the two factors, there is a large subset of genes that are activated independent of EGR2. Finally, the results identify a set of SOX10-dependent genes that are expressed in early Schwann cell development, but become subsequently repressed by EGR2/KROX20.
Project description:The Egr2/Krox20 transactivator is required for activation of many myelin-associated genes during peripheral nerve myelination by Schwann cells. However, recent work has indicated that Egr2 not only activates genes required for peripheral nerve myelination but may also be involved in gene repression. The NAB (NGFI-A/Egr-binding) corepressors interact with Egr2 and are required for proper coordination of myelin formation. Therefore, NAB proteins could mediate repression of some Egr2 target genes, although direct repression by Egr2 or NAB proteins during myelination has not been demonstrated. To define the physiological role of NAB corepression in gene repression by Egr2, we tested whether the Egr2.NAB complex directly repressed specific target genes. A screen for NAB-regulated genes identified several (including Id2, Id4, and Rad) that declined during the course of peripheral nerve myelination. In vivo chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of the myelinating sciatic nerve was used to show developmental association of both Egr2 and NAB2 on the Id2, Id4, and Rad promoters as they were repressed during the myelination process. In addition, NAB2 represses transcription by interaction with the chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) subunit of the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase chromatin remodeling complex, and we demonstrate that CHD4 occupies NAB-repressed promoters in a developmentally regulated manner in vivo. These results illustrate a novel aspect of genetic regulation of peripheral nerve myelination by showing that Egr2 directly represses genes during myelination in conjunction with NAB corepressors. Furthermore, repression of Id2 was found to augment activation of Mpz (myelin protein zero) expression.
Project description:Schwann cell development and peripheral nerve myelination require the serial expression of transcriptional activators, such as Sox10, Oct6 (also called Scip or Pou3f1) and Krox20 (also called Egr2). Here we show that transcriptional repression, mediated by the zinc-finger protein Zeb2 (also known as Sip1), is essential for differentiation and myelination. Mice lacking Zeb2 in Schwann cells develop a severe peripheral neuropathy, caused by failure of axonal sorting and virtual absence of myelin membranes. Zeb2-deficient Schwann cells continuously express repressors of lineage progression. Moreover, genes for negative regulators of maturation such as Sox2 and Ednrb emerge as Zeb2 target genes, supporting its function as an 'inhibitor of inhibitors' in myelination control. When Zeb2 is deleted in adult mice, Schwann cells readily dedifferentiate following peripheral nerve injury and become repair cells. However, nerve regeneration and remyelination are both perturbed, demonstrating that Zeb2, although undetectable in adult Schwann cells, has a latent function throughout life.
Project description:Fast axonal conduction depends on myelin, which is formed by Schwann cells in the PNS. We found that the transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is crucial for peripheral myelination. Conditional ablation of Yy1 in the Schwann cell lineage resulted in severe hypomyelination, which occurred independently of altered Schwann cell proliferation or apoptosis. In Yy1 mutant mice, Schwann cells established a 1:1 relationship with axons but were unable to myelinate them. The Schwann cells expressed low levels of myelin proteins and of Egr2 (also called Krox20), which is an important regulator of peripheral myelination. In vitro, Schwann cells that lacked Yy1 did not upregulate Egr2 in response to neuregulin1 and did not express myelin protein zero. This phenotype was rescued by overexpression of Egr2. In addition, neuregulin-induced phosphorylation of YY1 was required for transcriptional activation of Egr2. Thus, YY1 emerges as an important activator of peripheral myelination that links neuregulin signaling with Egr2 expression.
Project description:Chromatin organization is critical for cell growth, differentiation, and disease development, however, its functions in peripheral myelination and myelin repair remain elusive. In this report, we demonstrate that the CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF), a crucial chromatin organizer, is essential for Schwann cell myelination and myelin regeneration after nerve injury. Inhibition of CTCF or its deletion blocks Schwann cell differentiation at the pro-myelinating stage, whereas overexpression of CTCF promotes the myelination program. We find that CTCF establishes chromatin interaction loops between enhancer and promoter regulatory elements and promotes expression of a key pro-myelinogenic factor EGR2. In addition, CTCF interacts with SUZ12, a component of polycomb-repressive-complex 2 (PRC2), to repress the transcriptional program associated with negative regulation of Schwann cell maturation. Together, our findings reveal a dual role of CTCF-dependent chromatin organization in promoting myelinogenic programs and recruiting chromatin-repressive complexes to block Schwann cell differentiation inhibitors to control peripheral myelination and repair.