Olig1 and Sox10 interact synergistically to drive myelin basic protein transcription in oligodendrocytes.
ABSTRACT: The oligodendrocyte lineage genes (Olig1/2), encoding basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, were first identified in screens for master regulators of oligodendrocyte development. OLIG1 is important for differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursors into myelin-forming oligodendrocytes during development and is thought to play a crucial role in remyelination during multiple sclerosis. However, it is still unclear how OLIG1 interacts with its transcriptional cofactors and DNA targets. OLIG1 was reportedly restricted to mammals, but we demonstrate here that zebrafish and other teleosts also possess an OLIG1 homolog. In zebrafish, as in mammals, Olig1 is expressed in the oligodendrocyte lineage. Olig1 associates physically with another myelin-associated transcription factor, Sox10, and the Olig1/Sox10 complex activates mbp (myelin basic protein) transcription via conserved DNA sequence motifs in the mbp promoter region. In contrast, Olig2 does not bind to Sox10 in zebrafish, although both OLIG1 and OLIG2 bind SOX10 in mouse.
Project description:Olig1 and Olig2, encoding closely related basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, were originally identified in screens for glial-specific genes. Olig1 and Olig2 are both expressed in restricted parts of the neuroepithelium of the embryonic spinal cord and telencephalon and subsequently in oligodendrocyte lineage cells throughout life. In the spinal cord, Olig2 plays a crucial role in the development of oligodendrocytes and motor neurons, and both cell types are lost from Olig2 null mutant mice. The role of Olig1 has been more cryptic. It was initially reported that Olig1 null mice (with a Cre-Pgk-Neo cassette at the Olig1 locus) have a mild developmental phenotype characterized by a slight delay in oligodendrocyte differentiation. However, a subsequent study of the same line following removal of Pgk-Neo (leaving Olig1-Cre) found severe disruption of oligodendrocyte production, myelination failure and early postnatal lethality. A plausible explanation was proposed, that the highly expressed Pgk-Neo cassette in the original line might have up-regulated the neighbouring Olig2 gene, compensating for loss of Olig1. However, this was not tested, so the importance of Olig1 for oligodendrocyte development has remained unclear.We generated two independent lines of Olig1 null mice. Both lines had a mild phenotype featuring slightly delayed oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation but no long-term effect. In addition, we found that Olig2 transcripts were not up-regulated in our Olig1 null mice.Our findings support the original conclusion that Olig1 plays a minor and non-essential role in oligodendrocyte development and have implications for the interpretation of studies based on Olig1 deficient mice (and perhaps Olig1-Cre mice) from different sources.
Project description:The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors oligodendrocyte transcription factor 1 (OLIG1) and OLIG2 are structurally similar and, to a first approximation, coordinately expressed in the developing CNS and postnatal brain. Despite these similarities, it was apparent from early on after their discovery that OLIG1 and OLIG2 have non-overlapping developmental functions in patterning, neuron subtype specification and the formation of oligodendrocytes. Here, we summarize more recent insights into the separate roles of these transcription factors in the postnatal brain during repair processes and in neurological disease states, including multiple sclerosis and malignant glioma. We discuss how the unique functions of OLIG1 and OLIG2 may reflect their distinct genetic targets, co-regulator proteins and/or post-translational modifications.
Project description:The HMG-domain transcription factor Sox10 is expressed throughout oligodendrocyte development and is an important component of the transcriptional regulatory network in these myelin-forming CNS glia. Of the known Sox10 regulatory regions, only the evolutionary conserved U2 enhancer in the distal 5'-flank of the Sox10 gene exhibits oligodendroglial activity. We found that U2 was active in oligodendrocyte precursors, but not in mature oligodendrocytes. U2 activity also did not mediate the initial Sox10 induction after specification arguing that Sox10 expression during oligodendroglial development depends on the activity of multiple regulatory regions. The oligodendroglial bHLH transcription factor Olig2, but not the closely related Olig1 efficiently activated the U2 enhancer. Olig2 bound U2 directly at several sites including a highly conserved one in the U2 core. Inactivation of this site abolished the oligodendroglial activity of U2 in vivo. In contrast to Olig2, the homeodomain transcription factor Nkx6.2 repressed U2 activity. Repression may involve recruitment of Nkx6.2 to U2 and inactivation of Olig2 and other activators by protein-protein interactions. Considering the selective expression of Nkx6.2 at the time of specification and in differentiated oligodendrocytes, Nkx6.2 may be involved in limiting U2 activity to the precursor stage during oligodendrocyte development.
Project description:One of the special attributes of vertebrates is their myelinated nervous system. By increasing the conduction velocity of axons, myelin allows for increased body size, rapid movement and a large and complex brain. In the central nervous system (CNS), oligodendrocytes (OLs) are the myelin-forming cells. The transcription factors OLIG1 and OLIG2, master regulators of OL development, presumably also played a seminal role during the evolution of the genetic programme leading to myelination in the CNS. From the available ontogenetic and phylogenetic data we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary events that led to the emergence of the Olig gene family and speculate about the links between Olig genes, their specific cis-regulatory elements and myelin evolution. In addition, we report a putative myelin basic protein (MBP) ancestor in the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, which lacks compact myelin. The lancelet 'Mbp' gene lacks the OLIG1/2- and SOX10-binding sites that characterize vertebrate Mbp homologs, raising the possibility that insertion of cis-regulatory elements might have been involved in evolution of the myelinating programme.
Project description:Current approaches to derive oligodendrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) need extended exposure of hPSCs to growth factors and small molecules, which limits their clinical application because of the lengthy culture time required and low generation efficiency of myelinating oligodendrocytes. Compared to extrinsic growth factors and molecules, oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation can be more effectively modulated by regulation of the cell transcription network. In the developing central nervous system (CNS), two basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, Olig1 and Olig2, are decisive in oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation. Olig2 plays a critical role in the specification of oligodendrocytes and Olig1 is crucial in promoting oligodendrocyte maturation. Recently viral vectors have been used to overexpress Olig2 and Olig1 in neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs) to induce the maturation of oligodendrocytes and enhance the remyelination activity in vivo. Because of the safety issues with viral vectors, including the insertional mutagenesis and potential tumor formation, non-viral transfection methods are preferred for clinical translation. Here we report a poly(?-amino ester) (PBAE)-based nanoparticle transfection method to deliver Olig1 and Olig2 into human fetal tissue-derived NSCs and demonstrate efficient oligodendrocyte differentiation following transgene expression of Olig1 and Olig2. This approach is potentially translatable for engineering stem cells to treat injured or diseased CNS tissues.Current protocols to derive oligodendrocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) require lengthy culture time with low generation efficiencies of mature oligodendrocytes. We described a new approach to enhance oligodendrocyte differentiation through nanoparticle-mediated transcription modulation. We tested an effective transfection method using cell-compatible poly (?-amino ester) (PBAE)/DNA nanoparticles as gene carrier to deliver transcription factor Olig1 and Olig2 into human fetal tissue-derived neural stem/progenitor cells, and showed efficient oligodendrocyte differentiation following transgene expression of Olig1 and Olig2. We believe that this translatable approach can be applied to many other cell-based regenerative therapies as well.
Project description:An interplay between the nucleosome binding proteins H1 and HMGN is known to affect chromatin dynamics, but the biological significance of this interplay is still not clear. We find that during embryonic stem cell differentiation loss of HMGNs leads to down regulation of genes involved in neural differentiation, and that the transcription factor OLIG2 is a central node in the affected pathway. Loss of HMGNs affects the expression of OLIG2 as well as that of OLIG1, two transcription factors that are crucial for oligodendrocyte lineage specification and nerve myelination. Loss of HMGNs increases the chromatin binding of histone H1, thereby recruiting the histone methyltransferase EZH2 and elevating H3K27me3 levels, thus conferring a repressive epigenetic signature at Olig1&2 sites. Embryonic stem cells lacking HMGNs show reduced ability to differentiate towards the oligodendrocyte lineage, and mice lacking HMGNs show reduced oligodendrocyte count and decreased spinal cord myelination, and display related neurological phenotypes. Thus, the presence of HMGN proteins is required for proper expression of neural differentiation genes during embryonic stem cell differentiation. Specifically, we demonstrate that the dynamic interplay between HMGNs and H1 in chromatin epigenetically regulates the expression of OLIG1&2, thereby affecting oligodendrocyte development and myelination, and mouse behavior.
Project description:Modifications on specific histone residues and DNA methylation play an essential role in lineage choice and cellular reprogramming. We have previously shown that histone modifications or combinatorial codes of transcription factors (TFs) are critical for the differentiation of multipotential progenitors into myelinating oligodendrocytes. In this study we asked whether combining global manipulation of DNA methylation and histone acetylation together with the expression of oligodendrocyte-specific TFs, was sufficient to switch the identity of fibroblasts into myelin gene-expressing cells.Transfection of six oligodendrocyte-specific TFs (Olig1, Olig2, Sox10, Mash1, E47 and Nkx2.2) into NIH3T3 fibroblasts was capable of inducing expression of myelin gene promoter-driven reporters, but did not activate endogenous myelin gene expression. These results suggested the existence of a transcriptionally incompetent chromatin conformation in NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis, we compared the histone code on the conserved regions of myelin genes (i.e. Mbp and Mag) in differentiating oligodendrocyte progenitors and NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Chromatin at myelin gene loci was characterized by the presence of repressive histone modifications (me3K9H3 and me3K27H3) in NIH3T3 fibroblasts and active histone marks (me3K4H3 and AcH3) in oligodendrocyte lineage cells. To induce a transcriptionally competent chromatin signature, NIH3T3 fibroblasts were treated with 5-azadeoxy-citidine (5-AzaC) to decrease DNA methylation, and trichostatin A (TSA) or sirtinol, to favor histone acetylation. Treatment with 5-AzaC/TSA but not sirtinol, resulted in the detection of endogenous myelin gene transcripts in fibroblasts, although not to the levels detected in myelinating cells. Transfection of oligodendrocyte-specific TFs after 5-AzaC/TSA treatment did not further increase myelin gene expression, nor did it reprogram the transcriptional network of NIH3T3 fibroblasts into that of oligodendrocytes.These results suggest that reprogramming of fibroblasts into myelin gene-expressing cells not only requires transcriptional activation, but also chromatin manipulations that go beyond histone acetylation and DNA methylation.
Project description:Myelination by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) is essential for proper brain function, yet the molecular determinants that control this process remain poorly understood. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors Olig1 and Olig2 promote myelination, whereas bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt/?-catenin signaling inhibit myelination. Here we show that these opposing regulators of myelination are functionally linked by the Olig1/2 common target Smad-interacting protein-1 (Sip1). We demonstrate that Sip1 is an essential modulator of CNS myelination. Sip1 represses differentiation inhibitory signals by antagonizing BMP receptor-activated Smad activity while activating crucial oligodendrocyte-promoting factors. Importantly, a key Sip1-activated target, Smad7, is required for oligodendrocyte differentiation and partially rescues differentiation defects caused by Sip1 loss. Smad7 promotes myelination by blocking the BMP- and ?-catenin-negative regulatory pathways. Thus, our findings reveal that Sip1-mediated antagonism of inhibitory signaling is critical for promoting CNS myelination and point to new mediators for myelin repair.
Project description:Promotion of remyelination is an important therapeutic strategy for the treatment of the demyelinating neurological disorders. Adult oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), which normally reside quiescently in the adult central nervous system (CNS), become activated and proliferative after demyelinating lesions. However, the extent of endogenous remyelination is limited because of the failure of adult OPCs to mature into myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs) in the demyelinated CNS. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the differentiation of adult OPCs could lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat these disorders. In this study, we established a stable culture of adult spinal cord OPCs and developed a reliable in vitro protocol to induce their sequential differentiation. Adult OPCs expressed bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type Ia, Ib, and II receptor subunits, which are required for BMP signal transduction. BMP2 and 4 promoted dose-dependent astrocyte differentiation of adult OPCs with concurrent suppression of OL differentiation. Treatment of OPCs with BMP2 and 4 increased ID4 expression and decreased the expression of olig1 and olig2. Overexpression of olig1 or olig2 blocked the astrocyte differentiation of adult OPCs induced by BMP2 and 4. Furthermore, overexpression of both olig1 and olig2, but not olig1 or olig2 alone, rescued OL differentiation from inhibition by BMP2 and 4. Our results demonstrated that downregulation of olig1 and olig2 is an important mechanism by which BMP2 and 4 inhibit OL differentiation of adult OPCs. These data suggest that blocking BMP signaling combined with olig1/2 overexpression could be a useful therapeutic strategy to enhance endogenous remyelination and facilitate functional recovery in CNS demyelinated disorders. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Project description:The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Olig1 promotes oligodendrocyte maturation and is required for myelin repair. We characterized an Olig1-regulated G protein-coupled receptor, GPR17, whose function is to oppose the action of Olig1. Gpr17 was restricted to oligodendrocyte lineage cells, but was downregulated during the peak period of myelination and in adulthood. Transgenic mice with sustained Gpr17 expression in oligodendrocytes exhibited stereotypic features of myelinating disorders in the CNS. Gpr17 overexpression inhibited oligodendrocyte differentiation and maturation both in vivo and in vitro. Conversely, Gpr17 knockout mice showed early onset of oligodendrocyte myelination. The opposing action of Gpr17 on oligodendrocyte maturation reflects, at least partially, upregulation and nuclear translocation of the potent oligodendrocyte differentiation inhibitors ID2/4. Collectively, these findings suggest that GPR17 orchestrates the transition between immature and myelinating oligodendrocytes via an ID protein-mediated negative regulation and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for CNS myelin repair.