5 years ago

Samd7 is a cell type-specific PRC1 component essential for establishing retinal rod photoreceptor identity [Neuroscience]

Samd7 is a cell type-specific PRC1 component essential for establishing retinal rod photoreceptor identity [Neuroscience]
Hirotaka Narita, Mayu Furuhashi, Atsushi Nakagawa, Tetsuo Kon, Shinji Ueno, Taro Chaya, Haruhiko Koseki, Taro Kominami, Ryotaro Tsutsumi, Shun Kubo, Takahisa Furukawa, Isao Suetake, Yoshihiro Omori, Haruka Yamamoto, Akiko Ueno

Precise transcriptional regulation controlled by a transcription factor network is known to be crucial for establishing correct neuronal cell identities and functions in the CNS. In the retina, the expression of various cone and rod photoreceptor cell genes is regulated by multiple transcription factors; however, the role of epigenetic regulation in photoreceptor cell gene expression has been poorly understood. Here, we found that Samd7, a rod-enriched sterile alpha domain (SAM) domain protein, is essential for silencing nonrod gene expression through H3K27me3 regulation in rod photoreceptor cells. Samd7-null mutant mice showed ectopic expression of nonrod genes including S-opsin in rod photoreceptor cells and rod photoreceptor cell dysfunction. Samd7 physically interacts with Polyhomeotic homologs (Phc proteins), components of the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1), and colocalizes with Phc2 and Ring1B in Polycomb bodies. ChIP assays showed a significant decrease of H3K27me3 in the genes up-regulated in the Samd7-deficient retina, showing that Samd7 deficiency causes the derepression of nonrod gene expression in rod photoreceptor cells. The current study suggests that Samd7 is a cell type-specific PRC1 component epigenetically defining rod photoreceptor cell identity.

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