The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signalling pathway plays important roles during development and in cancer. Here we report a Shh-induced epigenetic switch that cooperates with Gli to control transcription outcomes. Before induction, poised Shh target genes are marked by a bivalent chromatin domain containing a repressive histone H3K27me3 mark and an active H3K4me3 mark. Shh activation induces a local switch of epigenetic cofactors from the H3K27 methyltransferase polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) to an H3K27me3 demethylase Jmjd3/Kdm6b-centred coactivator complex. We also find that non-enzymatic activities of Jmjd3 are important and that Jmjd3 recruits the Set1/MLL H3K4 methyltransferase complexes in a Shh-dependent manner to resolve the bivalent domain. In vivo, changes of the bivalent domain accompanied Shh-activated cerebellar progenitor proliferation. Overall, our results reveal a regulatory mechanism that underlies the activation of Shh target genes and provides insight into the causes of various diseases and cancers exhibiting altered Shh signalling.
Sterile alpha motif domain containing protein 4 (Samd4) is an RNA binding protein that mediates translational repression. We identified a Samd4 missense mutation, designated supermodel, that caused leanness and kyphosis associated with myopathy and adipocyte defects in C57BL/6J mice. The supermodel mutation protected homozygous mice from high fat diet-induced obesity, likely by promoting enhanced energy expenditure through uncoupled mitochondrial respiration. Glucose tolerance was impaired due to diminished insulin release in homozygous mutant mice. The defects of metabolism in supermodel mice may be explained by dysregulated mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling, evidenced by hypophosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and S6 in muscle and adipose tissues of homozygous mice. Samd4 may interface with mTORC1 signaling through an interaction with 14-3-3 proteins and with Akt, which phosphorylates Samd4 in vitro.
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling plays diverse roles during animal development and adult tissue homeostasis through differential regulation of Gli family transcription factors. Dysregulated Shh signaling activities have been linked to birth defects and tumorigenesis. Here we report that Brg, an ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling factor, has dual functions in regulating Shh target gene expression. Using a Brg conditional deletion in Shh-responding neural progenitors and fibroblasts, we demonstrate that Brg is required both for repression of the basal expression and for the activation of signal-induced transcription of Shh target genes. In developing telencephalons deficient for Brg, Shh target genes were derepressed, whereas Brg-deleted cerebellar granule neuron precursors failed to respond to Shh to increase their proliferation. The repressor function of Brg was mediated through Gli3 and both the repressor and activator functions of Brg appeared to be independent of its ATPase activity. Furthermore, Brg facilitates Gli coactivator histone deacetylase (HDAC) binding to the regulatory regions of Shh target genes, providing a possible mechanism for its positive role in Shh signaling. Our results thus reveal that a complex chromatin regulation mechanism underlies the precise transcription outcomes of Shh signaling and its diverse roles during development.
The Wnt coreceptor LRP6 is required for canonical Wnt signaling. To understand the molecular regulation of LRP6 function, we generated a series of monoclonal antibodies against the extra cellular domain (ECD) of LRP6 and selected a high-affinity mAb (mAb135) that recognizes cell surface expression of endogenous LRP6. mAb135 enhanced Wnt dependent TCF reporter activation and antagonized DKK1 dependent inhibition of Wnt3A signaling, suggesting a role in modulation of LRP6 function. Detailed analysis of LRP6 domain mutants identified Ser 243 in the first propeller domain of LRP6 as a critical residue for mAb135 binding, implicating this domain in regulating the sensitivity of LRP6 to DKK1. In agreement with this notion, mAb135 directly disrupted the interaction of DKK1 with recombinant ECD LRP6 and a truncated form of the LRP6 ECD containing only repeats 1 and 2. Finally, we found that mAb135 completely protected LRP6 from DKK1 dependent internalization. Together, these results identify the first propeller domain as a novel regulatory domain for DKK1 binding to LRP6 and show that mAb against the first propeller domain of LRP6 can be used to modulate this interaction.
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