Repression by PRDM13 is critical for generating precision in neuronal identity.
ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that activate some genes while silencing others are critical to ensure precision in lineage specification as multipotent progenitors become restricted in cell fate. During neurodevelopment, these mechanisms are required to generate the diversity of neuronal subtypes found in the nervous system. Here we report interactions between basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional activators and the transcriptional repressor PRDM13 that are critical for specifying dorsal spinal cord neurons. PRDM13 inhibits gene expression programs for excitatory neuronal lineages in the dorsal neural tube. Strikingly, PRDM13 also ensures a battery of ventral neural tube specification genes such as Olig1, Olig2 and Prdm12 are excluded dorsally. PRDM13 does this via recruitment to chromatin by multiple neural bHLH factors to restrict gene expression in specific neuronal lineages. Together these findings highlight the function of PRDM13 in repressing the activity of bHLH transcriptional activators that together are required to achieve precise neuronal specification during mouse development.
Project description:The mechanisms that activate some genes while silencing others are critical to ensure precision in lineage specification as multipotent progenitors become restricted in cell fate. During neurodevelopment, these mechanisms are required to generate the wide variety of neuronal subtypes found in the nervous system. Here we report interactions between basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional activators and the transcriptional repressor PRDM13 that are critical for these processes during specification of dorsal spinal cord neurons. PRDM13 inhibits gene expression programs for the excitatory neuronal lineages in the dorsal neural tube while also suppressing a battery of genes that determine ventral neural tube fates including Olig1, Olig2 and Prdm12. PRDM13 does this via recruitment to chromatin by multiple neural bHLH factors to restrict gene expression in specific neuronal lineages. Together these findings highlight the function of PRDM13 in repressing bHLH transcriptional activators that together are required to achieve precise neuronal specification during development. Overall design: RNA-seq analysis performed on GFP+ cells sorted by FACS from Prdm13GFP/+ or Prdm13GFP/GFP mouse E11.5 neural tubes to identify gene expression in the presence and absence of PRDM13.
Project description:The mechanisms that activate some genes while silencing others are critical to ensure precision in lineage specification as multipotent progenitors become restricted in cell fate. During neurodevelopment, these mechanisms are required to generate the wide variety of neuronal subtypes found in the nervous system. Here we report interactions between basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional activators and the transcriptional repressor PRDM13 that are critical for these processes during specification of dorsal spinal cord neurons. PRDM13 inhibits gene expression programs for the excitatory neuronal lineages in the dorsal neural tube while also suppressing a battery of genes that determine ventral neural tube fates including Olig1, Olig2 and Prdm12. PRDM13 does this via recruitment to chromatin by multiple neural bHLH factors to restrict gene expression in specific neuronal lineages. Together these findings highlight the function of PRDM13 in repressing bHLH transcriptional activators that together are required to achieve precise neuronal specification during development. Overall design: ChIP-seq performed on mouse (ICR) embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5) neural tubes using a Johnson Lab generated antibody (PA6659, rabbit anti-PRDM13). The antigen was a bacterially expressed C-terminal domain of mouse PRDM13 including amino acids 622 to 755.
Project description:Generating a balanced network of inhibitory and excitatory neurons during development requires precise transcriptional control. In the dorsal spinal cord, Ptf1a, a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription activator, maintains this delicate balance by inducing homeodomain (HD) transcription factors such as Pax2 to specify the inhibitory lineage while suppressing HD factors such as Tlx1/3 that specify the excitatory lineage. We uncover the mechanism by which Ptf1a represses excitatory cell fate in the inhibitory lineage. We identify Prdm13 as a direct target of Ptf1a and reveal that Prdm13 actively represses excitatory cell fate by binding to regulatory sequences near the Tlx1 and Tlx3 genes to silence their expression. Prdm13 acts through multiple mechanisms, including interactions with the bHLH factor Ascl1, to repress Ascl1 activation of Tlx3. Thus, Prdm13 is a key component of a highly coordinated transcriptional network that determines the balance of inhibitory versus excitatory neurons in the dorsal spinal cord.
Project description:Amacrine interneurons that modulate synaptic plasticity between bipolar and ganglion cells constitute the most diverse cell type in the retina. Most are inhibitory neurons using either GABA or glycine as neurotransmitters. Although several transcription factors involved in amacrine cell fate determination have been identified, mechanisms underlying amacrine cell subtype specification remain to be further understood. The Prdm13 histone methyltransferase encoding gene is a target of the transcription factor Ptf1a, an essential regulator of inhibitory neuron cell fate in the retina. Here, we have deepened our knowledge on its interaction with Ptf1a and investigated its role in amacrine cell subtype determination in the developing Xenopus retina.We performed prdm13 gain and loss of function in Xenopus and assessed the impact on retinal cell fate determination using RT-qPCR, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry.We found that prdm13 in the amphibian Xenopus is expressed in few retinal progenitors and in about 40% of mature amacrine cells, predominantly in glycinergic ones. Clonal analysis in the retina reveals that prdm13 overexpression favours amacrine cell fate determination, with a bias towards glycinergic cells. Conversely, knockdown of prdm13 specifically inhibits glycinergic amacrine cell genesis. We also showed that, as in the neural tube, prdm13 is subjected to a negative autoregulation in the retina. Our data suggest that this is likely due to its ability to repress the expression of its inducer, ptf1a.Our results demonstrate that Prdm13, downstream of Ptf1a, acts as an important regulator of glycinergic amacrine subtype specification in the Xenopus retina. We also reveal that Prdm13 regulates ptf1a expression through a negative feedback loop.
Project description:Amacrine interneurons, which are highly diversified in morphological, neurochemical, and physiological features, play crucial roles in visual information processing in the retina. However, the specification mechanisms and functions in vision for each amacrine subtype are not well understood. We found that the Prdm13 transcriptional regulator is specifically expressed in developing and mature amacrine cells in the mouse retina. Most Prdm13-positive amacrine cells are Calbindin- and Calretinin-positive GABAergic or glycinergic neurons. Absence of Prdm13 significantly reduces GABAergic and glycinergic amacrines, resulting in a specific defect of the S2/S3 border neurite bundle in the inner plexiform layer. Forced expression of Prdm13 distinctively induces GABAergic and glycinergic amacrine cells but not cholinergic amacrine cells, whereas Ptf1a, an upstream transcriptional regulator of Prdm13, induces all of these subtypes. Moreover, Prdm13-deficient mice showed abnormally elevated spatial, temporal, and contrast sensitivities in vision. Together, these results show that Prdm13 regulates development of a subset of amacrine cells, which newly defines an amacrine subtype to negatively modulate visual sensitivities. Our current study provides new insights into mechanisms of the diversification of amacrine cells and their function in vision.
Project description:Neural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors are important for the differentiation and cell type specification of neurons. They are thought to share direct downstream targets in their common role as neuronal differentiation factors, but have distinct targets with respect to their cell type specific roles. Little is known about distinct cell-type specific bHLH targets as previous work did not distinguish these from common targets. Based on previous genetic evidence, we hypothesize that bHLH transcription factors have unique targets for their function in regulating neuronal sub-type specification. Atoh1 (Math1) is a bHLH transcription factor that specifies different cell types of the proprioceptive pathway in mammals such as the dorsal interneuron 1 population of the developing neural tube. Using microarray analyses of neighboring specific bHLH sorted populations from developing mouse neural tubes, we determine transcripts unique to the Atoh1-derived population and not those common to bHLH transcription factors in related neural progenitor populations. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) experiments of native tissue followed by enhancer reporter analyses identified five direct cell-type specific targets of Atoh1 in vivo: Klf7, Rab15, Rassf4, Selm, and Smad7, along with their Atoh1-responsive enhancers. These Atoh1 targets were found from native tissue in the appropriate developmental context and have diverse functions that range from transcription factors to regulators of endocytosis and signaling pathways. Only Rab15 and Selm are expressed across several different Atoh1-specified cell types including external granule cells (EGL) in the developing cerebellum, hair cells of the inner ear, and Merkel cells, demonstrating that even within Atoh1 lineages, not all Atoh1 specific targets are shared. Our work establishes on a molecular level that the neuronal differentiation bHLH transcription factors also have distinct targets for their roles in neuronal sub-type specification. From this work, we can begin to address how bHLH transcription factors are able to specify unique cell types and initiate programs that organize neuronal diversity. Gene expression analysis: Two samples, Atoh1-GFP and dNeurog1-GFP, were analyzed. Two biological replicates of each. Atoh1-GFP transgenics are mice with GFP inserted into a BAC that drives GFP to the Atoh1-derived population of the developing neural tube marking the dorsal interneuron 1 population (Raft et al. Development 2007). dNeurog1-GFP transgenics are mice with a Neurog1 enhancer that drives GFP to the dorsal part of the developing neural tube marking the dorsal interneuron 2 population (Nakada et al. Dev Bio 2004). Chip-seq analysis: Series GSE22111
Project description:BACKGROUND: Establishment and maintenance of a functional central nervous system (CNS) requires a highly orchestrated process of neural progenitor cell proliferation, cell cycle exit, and differentiation. An evolutionary conserved program consisting of Notch signalling mediated by basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) transcription factor activity is necessary for both the maintenance of neural progenitor cell character and the progression of neurogenesis; however, additional players in mammalian CNS neural specification remain largely unknown. In Drosophila we recently characterized Hamlet, a transcription factor that mediates Notch signalling and neural cell fate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hamlet is a member of the Prdm (PRDI-BF1 and RIZ homology domain containing) proto-oncogene transcription factor family, and in this study we report that multiple genes in the Prdm family (Prdm6, 8, 12, 13 and 16) are expressed in the developing mouse CNS in a spatially and temporally restricted manner. In developing spinal cord Prdm8, 12 and 13 are expressed in precise neuronal progenitor zones suggesting that they may specify discrete neuronal subtypes. In developing telencephalon Prdm12 and 16 are expressed in the ventricular zone in a lateral to medial graded manner, and Prdm8 is expressed in a complementary domain in postmitotic neurons. In postnatal brain Prdm8 additionally shows restricted expression in cortical layers 2/3 and 4, the hippocampus, and the amygdala. To further elucidate roles of Prdm8 and 16 in the developing telencephalon we analyzed the relationship between these factors and the bHLH Hes (Hairy and enhancer of split homolog) effectors of Notch signalling. In Hes null telencephalon neural differentiation is enhanced, Prdm8 expression is upregulated, and Prdm16 expression is downregulated; conversely in utero electroporation of Hes1 into the developing telencephalon upregulates Prdm16 expression. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data demonstrate that Prdm genes are regulated by the Notch-Hes pathway and represent strong candidates to control neural class specification and the sequential progression of mammalian CNS neurogenesis.
Project description:The positive regulatory (PR) domain containing 13 (PRDM13) putative chromatin modifier and transcriptional regulator functions downstream of the transcription factor PTF1A, which controls GABAergic fate in the spinal cord and neurogenesis in the hypothalamus. Here, we report a recessive syndrome associated with PRDM13 mutation. Patients exhibited intellectual disability, ataxia with cerebellar hypoplasia, scoliosis, and delayed puberty with congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH). Expression studies revealed Prdm13/PRDM13 transcripts in the developing hypothalamus and cerebellum in mouse and human. An analysis of hypothalamus and cerebellum development in mice homozygous for a Prdm13 mutant allele revealed a significant reduction in the number of Kisspeptin (Kiss1) neurons in the hypothalamus and PAX2+ progenitors emerging from the cerebellar ventricular zone. The latter was accompanied by ectopic expression of the glutamatergic lineage marker TLX3. Prdm13-deficient mice displayed cerebellar hypoplasia and normal gonadal structure, but delayed pubertal onset. Together, these findings identify PRDM13 as a critical regulator of GABAergic cell fate in the cerebellum and of hypothalamic kisspeptin neuron development, providing a mechanistic explanation for the cooccurrence of CHH and cerebellar hypoplasia in this syndrome. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence linking disrupted PRDM13-mediated regulation of Kiss1 neurons to CHH in humans.
Project description:PR homology domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) belongs to a family of conserved transcription factors implicated in cell fate decisions. Here we show that PRDM12 is a key regulator of sensory neuronal specification in Xenopus. Modeling of human PRDM12 mutations that cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) revealed remarkable conservation of the mutated residues in evolution. Expression of wild-type human PRDM12 in Xenopus induced the expression of sensory neuronal markers, which was reduced using various human PRDM12 mutants. In Drosophila, we identified Hamlet as the functional PRDM12 homolog that controls nociceptive behavior in sensory neurons. Furthermore, expression analysis of human patient fibroblasts with PRDM12 mutations uncovered possible downstream target genes. Knockdown of several of these target genes including thyrotropin-releasing hormone degrading enzyme (TRHDE) in Drosophila sensory neurons resulted in altered cellular morphology and impaired nociception. These data show that PRDM12 and its functional fly homolog Hamlet are evolutionary conserved master regulators of sensory neuronal specification and play a critical role in pain perception. Our data also uncover novel pathways in multiple species that regulate evolutionary conserved nociception.
Project description:PR domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) is a key developmental transcription factor in sensory neuronal specification and survival. Patients with rare deleterious variants in <i>PRDM12</i> are born with congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP) due to the complete absence of a subtype of peripheral neurons that detect pain. In this paper, we report two additional CIP cases with a novel homozygous <i>PRDM12</i> variant. To elucidate the function of PRDM12 during mammalian development and adulthood, we generated temporal and spatial conditional mouse models. We find that PRDM12 is expressed throughout the adult nervous system. We observed that loss of PRDM12 during mid-sensory neurogenesis but not in the adult leads to reduced survival. Comparing cellular biophysical nociceptive properties in developmental and adult-onset PRDM12 deletion mouse models, we find that PRDM12 is necessary for proper nociceptive responses throughout life. However, we find that PRDM12 regulates distinct age-dependent transcriptional programs. Together, our results implicate PRDM12 as a viable therapeutic target for specific pain therapies even in adults.