MicroRNAs Overcome Cell Fate Barrier by Reducing EZH2-Controlled REST Stability during Neuronal Conversion of Human Adult Fibroblasts

Seong Won Lee, Young Mi Oh, Ya Lin Lu, Woo Kyung Kim, Andrew S. Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to convert human somatic cells efficiently to neurons facilitates the utility of patient-derived neurons for studying neurological disorders. As such, ectopic expression of neuronal microRNAs (miRNAs), miR-9/9 and miR-124 (miR-9/9 -124) in adult human fibroblasts has been found to evoke extensive reconfigurations of the chromatin and direct the fate conversion to neurons. However, how miR-9/9 -124 break the cell fate barrier to activate the neuronal program remains to be defined. Here, we identified an anti-neurogenic function of EZH2 in fibroblasts that acts outside its role as a subunit of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 to directly methylate and stabilize REST, a transcriptional repressor of neuronal genes. During neuronal conversion, miR-9/9 -124 induced the repression of the EZH2-REST axis by downregulating USP14, accounting for the opening of chromatin regions harboring REST binding sites. Our findings underscore the interplay between miRNAs and protein stability cascade underlying the activation of neuronal program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84.e7
JournalDevelopmental cell
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2018

Keywords

  • ACTL6b
  • BAF complex
  • EZH2
  • REST
  • USP14
  • chromatin remodeling complex
  • microRNAs
  • neuronal reprogramming
  • protein modification
  • protein stability control

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