Shifts in podocyte histone H3K27me3 regulate mouse and human glomerular disease.
ABSTRACT: Histone protein modifications control fate determination during normal development and dedifferentiation during disease. Here, we set out to determine the extent to which dynamic changes to histones affect the differentiated phenotype of ordinarily quiescent adult glomerular podocytes. To do this, we examined the consequences of shifting the balance of the repressive histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) mark in podocytes. Adriamycin nephrotoxicity and subtotal nephrectomy (SNx) studies indicated that deletion of the histone methylating enzyme EZH2 from podocytes decreased H3K27me3 levels and sensitized mice to glomerular disease. H3K27me3 was enriched at the promoter region of the Notch ligand Jag1 in podocytes, and derepression of Jag1 by EZH2 inhibition or knockdown facilitated podocyte dedifferentiation. Conversely, inhibition of the Jumonji C domain-containing demethylases Jmjd3 and UTX increased the H3K27me3 content of podocytes and attenuated glomerular disease in adriamycin nephrotoxicity, SNx, and diabetes. Podocytes in glomeruli from humans with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis or diabetic nephropathy exhibited diminished H3K27me3 and heightened UTX content. Analogous to human disease, inhibition of Jmjd3 and UTX abated nephropathy progression in mice with established glomerular injury and reduced H3K27me3 levels. Together, these findings indicate that ostensibly stable chromatin modifications can be dynamically regulated in quiescent cells and that epigenetic reprogramming can improve outcomes in glomerular disease by repressing the reactivation of developmental pathways.
Project description:Although histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27Me3) is associated with gene silencing, whether H3K27Me3 demethylation affects transcription and cell differentiation in vivo has remained elusive. To investigate this, we conditionally inactivated the two H3K27Me3 demethylases, Jmjd3 and Utx, in non-dividing intrathymic CD4(+) T-cell precursors. Here we show that both enzymes redundantly promote H3K27Me3 removal at, and expression of, a specific subset of genes involved in terminal thymocyte differentiation, especially S1pr1, encoding a sphingosine-phosphate receptor required for thymocyte egress. Thymocyte expression of S1pr1 was not rescued in Jmjd3- and Utx-deficient male mice, which carry the catalytically inactive Utx homolog Uty, supporting the conclusion that it requires H3K27Me3 demethylase activity. These findings demonstrate that Jmjd3 and Utx are required for T-cell development, and point to a requirement for their H3K27Me3 demethylase activity in cell differentiation.
Project description:During the process of embryonic development in mammals, epigenetic modifications must be erased and reconstructed. In particular, the trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is associated with gene-specific transcriptional repression and contributes to the maintenance of the pluripotent embryos. In this study, we determined that the global levels of the H3K27me3 marker were elevated in MII oocyte chromatin and decrease to minimal levels at the 8-cell and morula stages. When the blastocyst hatched, H3K27me3 was re-established in the inner cell mass. We also determined that H3K27me3-specific demethylases, UTX and JMJD3, were observed at high transcript and protein levels in mouse preimplantation embryos. In the activated oocytes, when the H3K27me3 disappeared at the 8-cell stage, the UTX (but not JMJD3) protein levels were undetectable. Using RNA interference, we suppressed UTX and JMJD3 gene expression in the embryos and determined that the functions of UTX and JMJD3 were complementary. When JMJD3 levels were decreased by RNA interference, the embryo development rate and quality were improved, but the knockdown of UTX produced the opposite results. Understanding the epigenetic mechanisms controlling preimplantation development is critical to comprehending the basis of embryonic development and to devise methods and approaches to treat infertility.
Project description:The removal of histone H3 trimethylation at lysine residue 27 (H3K27me3) plays a critical role in the transcriptional initiation of developmental genes. The H3K27me3-specific KDM6 demethylases JMJD3 and UTX are responsible for the transcriptional initiation of various developmental genes, but some genes are expressed in a KDM6 demethylase-independent manner. To address the role of H3K27me3 in the retinoic acid (RA)-induced differentiation of the human carcinoma NCCIT cell line, we inhibited JMJD3 and UTX using the H3K27me3 demethylase inhibitor GSK-J4. The commitment of JMJD3/UTX-inhibited cells to a specific fate was delayed, and transcriptome profiling also revealed the differential expression of genes related to cell fate specification in demethylase-inactivated cells; the expression levels of RA metabolism and HOX family genes significantly decreased. We observed a weak correlation between H3K27me3 enrichment and transcriptional repression in the control and JMJD/UTX-inhibited cells, except for a few sets of developmental genes that are indispensable for cell fate specification. Taken together, these results provide the H3K27me3 landscape of a differentiating cell line and suggest that both demethylase-dependent and demethylase-independent transcriptional regulation play a role in early differentiation and developmental gene expression activated by H3K27me3 demethylation.
Project description:T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an immature hematopoietic malignancy driven mainly by oncogenic activation of NOTCH1 signaling. In this study we chemically inhibited the H3K27me3 demethylase JMJD3 using the GSKJ4 inhibitor and assayed for genome-wide changes in H3K27me3 and JMJD3 enrichment. This piece of data was further integrated to expression changes using RNA sequencing as well as ChIP-Sequencing analysis of H3K27me3 upon genomic knock-down of JMJD3 and UTX. These results, coupled to genomic analysis of primary samples for the genomic status of the UTX gene in T-ALL, helped us to identify a hitherto unknown role of JMJD3 as an oncogenice facilitator in leukemia whereas UTX seems to play a tumor suppressor role. Histone ChIP: Half to one million cells were treated with micrococcal nuclease (MNASE) to generate mononucleosomal particles and an adaptation of the Upstate ChIP protocol was used.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?)-induced fibrotic and inflammatory genes in renal mesangial cells (MCs) play important roles in glomerular dysfunction associated with diabetic nephropathy (DN). TGF-? regulates gene expression in MCs by altering key chromatin histone modifications at target gene promoters. However, the role of the repressive histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) modification is unclear. Here we show that TGF-? reduces H3K27me3 at the Ctgf, Serpine1, and Ccl2 gene promoters in rat MCs (RMCs) and reciprocally up-regulates the expression of these pro-fibrotic and inflammatory genes. In parallel, TGF-? down-regulates Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (Ezh2), an H3K27me3 methyltransferase, and decreases its recruitment at Ctgf and Ccl2 but not Serpine1 promoters. Ezh2 knockdown with siRNAs enhances TGF-?-induced expression of these genes, supporting its repressive function. Mechanistically, Ezh2 down-regulation is mediated by TGF-?-induced microRNA, miR-101b, which targets Ezh2 3'-UTR. TGF-? also up-regulates Jmjd3 and Utx in RMCs, suggesting a key role for these H3K27me3 demethylases in H3K27me3 inhibition. In RMCs, Utx knockdown inhibits hypertrophy, a key event in glomerular dysfunction. The H3K27me3 regulators are similarly altered in human and mouse MCs. High glucose inhibits Ezh2 and increases miR-101b in a TGF-?-dependent manner. Furthermore, in kidneys from rodent models of DN, fibrotic genes, miR-101b, and H3K27me3 demethylases are up-regulated, whereas Ezh2 protein levels as well as enrichment of Ezh2 and H3K27me3 at target genes are decreased, demonstrating in vivo relevance. These results suggest that H3K27me3 inhibition by TGF-? via dysregulation of related histone-modifying enzymes and miRNAs augments pathological genes mediating glomerular mesangial dysfunction and DN.
Project description:Natural killer (NK)T cells and conventional T cells share phenotypic characteristic however they differ in transcription factor requirements and functional properties. The role of histone modifying enzymes in conventional T cell development has been extensively studied, little is known about the function of enzymes regulating histone methylation in NKT cells.We show that conditional deletion of histone demethylases UTX and JMJD3 by CD4-Cre leads to near complete loss of liver NKT cells, while conventional T cells are less affected. Loss of NKT cells is cell intrinsic and not due to an insufficient selection environment. The absence of NKT cells in UTX/JMJD3-deficient mice protects mice from concanavalin A-induced liver injury, a model of NKT-mediated hepatitis. GO-analysis of RNA-seq data indicates that cell cycle genes are downregulated in UTX/JMJD3-deleted NKT progenitors, and suggest that failed expansion may account for some of the cellular deficiency. The phenotype appears to be demethylase-dependent, because UTY, a homolog of UTX that lacks catalytic function, is not sufficient to restore their development and removal of H3K27me3 by deletion of EZH2 partially rescues the defect.NKT cell development and gene expression is sensitive to proper regulation of H3K27 methylation. The H3K27me3 demethylase enzymes, in particular UTX, promote NKT cell development, and are required for effective NKT function.
Project description:Embryonic development requires chromatin remodeling for dynamic regulation of gene expression patterns to ensure silencing of pluripotent transcription factors and activation of developmental regulators. Demethylation of H3K27me3 by the histone demethylases Utx and Jmjd3 is important for the activation of lineage choice genes in response to developmental signals. To further understand the function of Utx in pluripotency and differentiation we generated Utx knockout embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Here we show that Utx is not required for the proliferation of ESCs, however, Utx contributes to the establishment of ectoderm and mesoderm in vitro. Interestingly, this contribution is independent of the catalytic activity of Utx. Furthermore, we provide data showing that the Utx homologue, Uty, which is devoid of detectable demethylase activity, and Jmjd3 partly compensate for the loss of Utx. Taken together our results show that Utx is required for proper formation of ectoderm and mesoderm in vitro, and that Utx, similar to its C.elegans homologue, has demethylase dependent and independent functions.
Project description:The histone H3K27 demethylases UTX and JMJD3 are important regulatory factors that modulate gene expression by altering the physical state of chromatin. Previous studies have indicated an abnormal H3K27 methylation status in carcinogenesis. We therefore investigated the expression patterns of UTX and JMJD3 in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and their roles in cancer development.The mRNA expression levels of the UTX and JMJD3 genes were determined in cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues in 36 patients with primary RCC, using quantitative real-time-polymerase chain reaction. The UTX and JMJD3 protein contents were measured by western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis.UTX and JMJD3 transcripts were significantly increased in cancer tissues compared to normal tissues (P?<?0.05). mRNA levels of the inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 p16INK4a were also increased in cancer tissues (P?<?0.001). Western blotting indicated that levels of both demethylases were increased in cancer tissues. The level of tri-methylated H3K27 (H3K27me3) was lower in cancer tissues compared to normal tissues, but expression of the H3K27 methyltransferase EZH2 was increased (P?<?0.05). These results suggest that the two H3K27 demethylases may play critical roles in the regulation of H3K27 methylation status in RCC. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that UTX and JMJD3 expression were upregulated in cancer tissues compared to adjacent tissues.This study demonstrated that UTX and JMJD3 were upregulated in cancer tissues, suggesting that they may be involved in the development of primary RCC. The potential roles of H3K27 demethylases as biomarkers in the early diagnosis of RCC need to be further explored.
Project description:Neurogenesis, a highly orchestrated process, entails the transition from a pluripotent to neural state and involves neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and neuronal/glial subtypes. However, the precise epigenetic mechanisms underlying fate decision remain poorly understood. Here, we delete KDM6s (JMJD3 and/or UTX), the H3K27me3 demethylases, in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and show that their deletion does not impede NPC generation from hESCs. However, KDM6-deficient NPCs exhibit poor proliferation and a failure to differentiate into neurons and glia. Mechanistically, both JMJD3 and UTX are found to be enriched in gene loci essential for neural development in hNPCs, and KDM6 impairment leads to H3K27me3 accumulation and blockade of DNA accessibility at these genes. Interestingly, forced expression of neuron-specific chromatin remodelling BAF (nBAF) rescues the neuron/glia defect in KDM6-deficient NPCs despite H3K27me3 accumulation. Our findings uncover the differential requirement of KDM6s in specifying NPCs and neurons/glia and highlight the contribution of individual epigenetic regulators in fate decisions in a human development model.
Project description:The early mammalian embryo utilizes histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) to maintain essential developmental genes in a repressive chromatin state. As differentiation progresses, H3K27me3 is removed in a distinct fashion to activate lineage specific patterns of developmental gene expression. These rapid changes in early embryonic chromatin environment are thought to be dependent on H3K27 demethylases. We have taken a mouse genetics approach to remove activity of both H3K27 demethylases of the Kdm6 gene family, Utx (Kdm6a, X-linked gene) and Jmjd3 (Kdm6b, autosomal gene). Male embryos null for active H3K27 demethylation by the Kdm6 gene family survive to term. At mid-gestation, embryos demonstrate proper patterning and activation of Hox genes. These male embryos retain the Y-chromosome UTX homolog, UTY, which cannot demethylate H3K27me3 due to mutations in catalytic site of the Jumonji-C domain. Embryonic stem (ES) cells lacking all enzymatic KDM6 demethylation exhibit a typical decrease in global H3K27me3 levels with differentiation. Retinoic acid differentiations of these ES cells demonstrate loss of H3K27me3 and gain of H3K4me3 to Hox promoters and other transcription factors, and induce expression similar to control cells. A small subset of genes exhibit decreased expression associated with reduction of promoter H3K4me3 and some low-level accumulation of H3K27me3. Finally, Utx and Jmjd3 mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) demonstrate dramatic loss of H3K27me3 from promoters of several Hox genes and transcription factors. Our results indicate that early embryonic H3K27me3 repression can be alleviated in the absence of active demethylation by the Kdm6 gene family.