Assembly of transcriptomes encoding unique neuronal identities requires selective accessibility of transcription factors to cis-regulatory sequences in nucleosome-embedded postmitotic chromatin. Yet, the mechanisms controlling postmitotic neuronal chromatin accessibility are poorly understood. Here, we show that unique distal enhancers define the Pet1 neuron lineage that generates serotonin (5-HT) neurons in mice. Heterogeneous single cell chromatin landscapes are established early in postmitotic Pet1 neurons and reveal the putative regulatory programs driving Pet1 neuron subtype identities. Distal enhancer accessibility is highly dynamic as Pet1 neurons mature, suggesting the existence of regulatory factors that reorganize postmitotic neuronal chromatin. We find that Pet1 and Lmx1b control chromatin accessibility to select Pet1-lineage specific enhancers for 5-HT neurotransmission. Additionally, these factors are required to maintain chromatin accessibility during early maturation suggesting that postmitotic neuronal open chromatin is unstable and requires continuous regulatory input. Together our findings reveal postmitotic transcription factors that reorganize accessible chromatin for neuron specialization.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GEO under accession code GSE185737
Reorganization of postmitotic neuronal chromatin accessibility for maturation of serotonergic identityNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE185737.
- Evan S Deneris
- Evan S Deneris
- Xinrui L Zhang
- Xinrui L Zhang
- Nobuko Tabuchi
- Nobuko Tabuchi
- Meagan M Kitt
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experimentation: All animal procedures used in this study were in strict accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. The protocol was approved by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Animal Welfare Assurance Number A3145-01, protocol #: 2014-0044).
- Paschalis Kratsios, University of Chicago, United States
© 2022, Zhang et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The spine provides structure and support to the body, yet how it develops its characteristic morphology as the organism grows is little understood. This is underscored by the commonality of conditions in which the spine curves abnormally such as scoliosis, kyphosis and lordosis. Understanding the origin of such spinal curves has been challenging in part due to the lack of appropriate animal models. Recently, zebrafish have emerged as promising tools with which to understand the origin of spinal curves. Using zebrafish, we demonstrate that the Urotensin II-related peptides (URPs), Urp1 and Urp2, are essential for maintaining spine morphology. Urp1 and Urp2 are 10-amino acid cyclic peptides expressed by neurons lining the central canal of the spinal cord. Upon combined genetic loss of Urp1 and Urp2, adolescent-onset planar curves manifested in the caudal region of the spine. Highly similar curves were caused by mutation of Uts2r3, an URP receptor. Quantitative comparisons revealed that Urotensin-associated curves were distinct from other zebrafish spinal curve mutants in curve position and direction. Last, we found that the Reissner fiber, a proteinaceous thread that sits in the central canal and has been implicated in the control of spine morphology, breaks down prior to curve formation mutants with perturbed cilia motility but was unaffected by loss of Uts2r3. This suggests a Reissner fiber-independent mechanism of curvature in Urotensin-deficient mutants. Overall, our results show that Urp1 and Urp2 control zebrafish spine morphology and establish new animal models of spine deformity.
Having its genome makes the mitochondrion a unique and semiautonomous organelle within cells. Mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a double-stranded closed circular molecule of about 16 kb coding for 37 genes. Mutations, including deletions in the mitochondrial genome, can culminate in different human diseases. Mapping the deletion junctions suggests that the breakpoints are generally seen at hotspots. ‘9 bp deletion’ (8271–8281), seen in the intergenic region of cytochrome c oxidase II/tRNALys, is the most common mitochondrial deletion. While it is associated with several diseases like myopathy, dystonia, and hepatocellular carcinoma, it has also been used as an evolutionary marker. However, the mechanism responsible for its fragility is unclear. In the current study, we show that Endonuclease G, a mitochondrial nuclease responsible for nonspecific cleavage of nuclear DNA during apoptosis, can induce breaks at sequences associated with ‘9 bp deletion’ when it is present on a plasmid or in the mitochondrial genome. Through a series of in vitro and intracellular studies, we show that Endonuclease G binds to G-quadruplex structures formed at the hotspot and induces DNA breaks. Therefore, we uncover a new role for Endonuclease G in generating mtDNA deletions, which depends on the formation of G4 DNA within the mitochondrial genome. In summary, we identify a novel property of Endonuclease G, besides its role in apoptosis and the recently described ‘elimination of paternal mitochondria during fertilisation.