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Xiaoyue Deng, Toshiro Iwagawa, Masaya Fukushima, Yutaka Suzuki, Sumiko Watanabe; Setd1a Plays Pivotal Roles for the Survival and Proliferation of Retinal Progenitors via Histone Modifications of Uhrf1. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(6):1. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.6.1.
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The trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) facilitates transcriptional gene activation, and Setd1a is the methyltransferase specific to H3K4. H3K4me3 has been reported to regulate rod photoreceptor differentiation; however, the roles H3K4me3 plays in retinal progenitor cell (RPC) proliferation and differentiation during early retinal development remain unclear.
Using an in vitro retinal explant culture system, we suppressed the expression of Setd1a by introducing shSetd1a. We examined the expression level and H3K4me3 level of genes by RNA Sequencing and ChIP assay, respectively.
We found that Setd1a depletion resulted in increased apoptosis and proliferation failure in late RPCs. Expression of wild-type SETD1A, but not SETD1A that lacked the catalytic SET domain, reversed the shSetd1a-induced phenotype. RNA Sequencing revealed that proliferation-related genes were downregulated upon shSetd1a expression. Based on publicly available H3K4me3-ChIP sequencing data of retinal development, we identified Uhrf1 as a candidate target gene of Setd1a. The expression of shSetd1a led to a decrease in Uhrf1 transcript levels and reduced H3K4me3 levels at the Uhrf1 locus. Increased apoptosis and the suppression of proliferation in late RPCs were observed in retinal explants expressing shUhrf1, similar to the outcomes observed in shSetd1a-expressing retinas. The overexpression of UHRF1 did not rescue shSetd1a-induced apoptosis, but reversed the suppression of proliferation.
These results indicate that Setd1a contributes to the survival and proliferation of retinal cells by regulating histone methylation, Setd1a regulates Uhrf1 expression, and these two molecules cooperate to regulate RPC survival and proliferation.
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