Dual function of the PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 axis in myelination of the peripheral nervous system.
ABSTRACT: Myelination is a biosynthetically demanding process in which mTORC1, the gatekeeper of anabolism, occupies a privileged regulatory position. We have shown previously that loss of mTORC1 function in Schwann cells (SCs) hampers myelination. Here, we genetically disrupted key inhibitory components upstream of mTORC1, TSC1 or PTEN, in mouse SC development, adult homeostasis, and nerve injury. Surprisingly, the resulting mTORC1 hyperactivity led to markedly delayed onset of both developmental myelination and remyelination after injury. However, if mTORC1 was hyperactivated after myelination onset, radial hypermyelination was observed. At early developmental stages, physiologically high PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 signaling suppresses expression of Krox20 (Egr2), the master regulator of PNS myelination. This effect is mediated by S6K and contributes to control mechanisms that keep SCs in a not-fully differentiated state to ensure proper timing of myelination initiation. An ensuing decline in mTORC1 activity is crucial to allow myelination to start, while remaining mTORC1 activity drives myelin growth.
Project description:The myelination of axons in peripheral nerves requires precisely coordinated proliferation and differentiation of Schwann cells (SCs). We found that the activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1), a key signaling hub for the regulation of cellular growth and proliferation, is progressively extinguished as SCs differentiate during nerve development. To study the effects of different levels of sustained mTORC1 hyperactivity in the SC lineage, we disrupted negative regulators of mTORC1, including TSC2 or TSC1, in developing SCs of mutant mice. Surprisingly, the phenotypes ranged from arrested myelination in nerve development to focal hypermyelination in adulthood, depending on the level and timing of mTORC1 hyperactivity. For example, mice lacking TSC2 in developing SCs displayed hyperproliferation of undifferentiated SCs incompatible with normal myelination. However, these defects and myelination could be rescued by pharmacological mTORC1 inhibition. The subsequent reconstitution of SC mTORC1 hyperactivity in adult animals resulted in focal hypermyelination. Together our data suggest a model in which high mTORC1 activity promotes proliferation of immature SCs and antagonizes SC differentiation during nerve development. Down-regulation of mTORC1 activity is required for terminal SC differentiation and subsequent initiation of myelination. In distinction to this developmental role, excessive SC mTORC1 activity stimulates myelin growth, even overgrowth, in adulthood. Thus, our work delineates two distinct functions of mTORC1 in the SC lineage essential for proper nerve development and myelination. Moreover, our studies show that SCs retain their plasticity to myelinate and remodel myelin via mTORC1 throughout life.
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: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: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:Schwann cells (SCs) constitute a crucial element of the peripheral nervous system, by structurally supporting the formation of myelin and conveying vital trophic factors to the nervous system. However, the functions of SCs in developmental and regenerative stages remain unclear. Here, we investigated how optogenetic stimulation (OS) of SCs regulates their development. In SC monoculture, OS substantially enhanced SC proliferation and the number of BrdU+-S100ß+-SCs over time. In addition, OS also markedly promoted the expression of both Krox20 and myelin basic protein (MBP) in SC culture medium containing dBcAMP/NRG1, which induced differentiation. We found that the effects of OS are dependent on the intracellular Ca2+ level. OS induces elevated intracellular Ca2+ levels through the T-type voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) and mobilization of Ca2+ from both inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-sensitive stores and caffeine/ryanodine-sensitive stores. Furthermore, we confirmed that OS significantly increased expression levels of both Krox20 and MBP in SC-motor neuron (MN) coculture, which was notably prevented by pharmacological intervention with Ca2+. Taken together, our results demonstrate that OS of SCs increases the intracellular Ca2+ level and can regulate proliferation, differentiation, and myelination, suggesting that OS of SCs may offer a new approach to the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders.
Project description:The PI 3-kinase (PI 3-K) signaling pathway is essential for Schwann cell myelination. Here we have characterized PI 3-K effectors activated during myelination by probing myelinating cultures and developing nerves with an antibody that recognizes phosphorylated substrates for this pathway. We identified a discrete number of phospho-proteins including the S6 ribosomal protein (S6rp), which is down-regulated at the onset of myelination, and N-myc downstream-regulated gene-1 (NDRG1), which is up-regulated strikingly with myelination. We show that type III Neuregulin1 on the axon is the primary activator of S6rp, an effector of mTORC1. In contrast, laminin-2 in the extracellular matrix (ECM), signaling through the ?6?4 integrin and Sgk1 (serum and glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1), drives phosphorylation of NDRG1 in the Cajal bands of the abaxonal compartment. Unexpectedly, mice deficient in ?6?4 integrin signaling or Sgk1 exhibit hypermyelination during development. These results identify functionally and spatially distinct PI 3-K pathways: an early, pro-myelinating pathway driven by axonal Neuregulin1 and a later-acting, laminin-integrin-dependent pathway that negatively regulates myelination.
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: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:Myelination in Schwann cells is governed by several transcription factors, including the POU proteins Oct6 and Brn2, the high mobility group protein Sox10 and the zinc-finger protein Krox20. How the function of these factors is integrated in the control of myelination has not been established. Previously, we identified an enhancer element controlling Krox20 expression throughout myelination in Schwann cells. In this paper, cell culture experiments were combined with transgenesis to identify transcription factors acting directly upstream of Krox20. The results show that during the promyelin-myelin transition, Krox20 expression is directly activated by Oct6 and Brn2 acting on this enhancer. In addition, the enhancer-dependent synergism between these POU proteins and Sox10 suggests that Krox20 expression requires this combination of factors. These results resolve previous controversy concerning the mechanism of action of Oct6 and Brn2 during myelination and provide an explanation for myelin deficiencies in Waardenberg-Hirschsprung disease patients whereby Sox10 mutations could lead to a loss of Krox20 expression.
Project description:Tumor necrosis factor-?-converting enzyme (TACE; also known as ADAM17) is a proteolytic sheddase that is responsible for the cleavage of several membrane-bound molecules. We report that TACE cleaves neuregulin-1 (NRG1) type III in the epidermal growth factor domain, probably inactivating it (as assessed by deficient activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase pathway), and thereby negatively regulating peripheral nervous system (PNS) myelination. Lentivirus-mediated knockdown of TACE in vitro in dorsal root ganglia neurons accelerates the onset of myelination and results in hypermyelination. In agreement, motor neurons of conditional knockout mice lacking TACE specifically in these cells are significantly hypermyelinated, and small-caliber fibers are aberrantly myelinated. Further, reduced TACE activity rescues hypomyelination in NRG1 type III haploinsufficient mice in vivo. We also show that the inhibitory effect of TACE is neuron-autonomous, as Schwann cells lacking TACE elaborate myelin of normal thickness. Thus, TACE is a modulator of NRG1 type III activity and is a negative regulator of myelination in the PNS.