Epigenetic Regulation of Muscle Stem and Progenitor Cells

Title: Epigenetic Regulation of Muscle Stem and Progenitor Cells
Authors: Addicks, Gregory Charles
Date: 2018
Embargo: 2019-01-12
Abstract: Epigenetic mechanisms are of fundamental importance for resolving and maintaining cellular identity. The mechanisms regulating muscle stem and progenitor cell identity have ramifications for understanding all aspects of myogenesis. The epigenetic mechanisms regulating muscle stem cells are therefore important aspects for understanding the regulation of muscle regeneration and maintenance. Important roles for the trithorax H3K4 histone methyltransferase (HMT) MLL1 have been established for early embryogenesis, and for hematopoietic and neural identity. Here, using a conditional Mll1 knockout (KO), we find that in vivo, MLL1 is necessary for efficient muscle regeneration, and for maintenance and proliferation of muscle stem and progenitor cells. Loss of Mll1 in cultured myoblasts reveals an essential role for expression of the myogenic specification gene Pax7. Mll1 KO results in a minor decrease in Pax7 mRNA and a strong decrease of Pax7 protein. While MLL1 was found to bind the Pax7 promoter, Mll1 KO results in a minor decrease of H3K4me3 at Pax7, supporting a recognized non-HMT role for Mll1 at Pax7. Microarray analysis of mRNA expression in Mll1 KO myoblasts finds that Myf5 is the most strongly downregulated of all genes, unexpectedly, mRNA expression of previously identified MLL1 targets are unaffected by loss of MLL1 in myoblasts. Pax7 activates Myf5 expression through recruitment of a H3K4 HMT, and in Mll1 KO myoblasts expression of, and H3K4me3 at Myf5 is lost. Exogenous Pax7 rescues Myf5 expression and H3K4me3 at Myf5 in the absence of MLL1, indicating that Myf5 expression is conditional on Pax7, but not MLL1. We also show that Myf5 DNA is methylated in non-myogenic cells, and in satellite stem cells that have never expressed Myf5, but is not methylated in satellite cells that are committed to the myogenic lineage, indicating that demethylation of Myf5 may be a fundamental step in myogenic commitment. Intriguingly, Myf5 promoter DNA becomes remethylated in Mll1 KO myoblasts. This work finds that Pax7 expression and myogenic identity is partly dependent on MLL1 expression. Further, evidence is uncovered that myogenic commitment is initiated by demethylation of Myf5. These findings add to the understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate and define muscle stem cells.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/37112
CollectionThèses - Embargo // Theses - Embargo