Histone Methylation by the Kleefstra Syndrome Protein EHMT1 Mediates Homeostatic Synaptic Scaling
Number of pages
SourceNeuron, 91, 2, (2016), pp. 341-355
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular Developmental Biology
SubjectMolecular Biology; Radboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Molecular Developmental Biology
Homeostatic plasticity, a form of synaptic plasticity, maintains the fine balance between overall excitation and inhibition in developing and mature neuronal networks. Although the synaptic mechanisms of homeostatic plasticity are well characterized, the associated transcriptional program remains poorly understood. We show that the Kleefstra-syndrome-associated protein EHMT1 plays a critical and cell-autonomous role in synaptic scaling by responding to attenuated neuronal firing or sensory drive. Chronic activity deprivation increased the amount of neuronal dimethylated H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9me2), the catalytic product of EHMT1 and an epigenetic marker for gene repression. Genetic knockdown and pharmacological blockade of EHMT1 or EHMT2 prevented the increase of H3K9me2 and synaptic scaling up. Furthermore, BDNF repression was preceded by EHMT1/2-mediated H3K9me2 deposition at the Bdnf promoter during synaptic scaling up, both in vitro and in vivo. Our findings suggest that H3K9me2-mediated changes in chromatin structure govern a repressive program that controls synaptic scaling.
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