UHRF2 regulates cell cycle, epigenetics and gene expression to control the timing of retinal progenitor and ganglion cell differentiation

Xiaohong Wang, Aaron L Sarver, Qiyuan Han, Christopher L. Seiler, Chencheng Xie, Huarui Lu, Colleen L Forster, Natalia Y Tretyakova, Timothy C. Hallstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ubiquitin-like, containing PHD and RING finger domains 2 (UHRF2) regulates cell cycle and binds 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) to promote completion of DNA demethylation. Uhrf2-/- mice are without gross phenotypic defects; however, the cell cycle and epigenetic regulatory functions of Uhrf2 during retinal tissue development are unclear. Retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) produce all retinal neurons and Müller glia in a predictable sequence controlled by the complex interplay between extrinsic signaling, cell cycle, epigenetic changes and cell-specific transcription factor activation. In this study, we find that UHRF2 accumulates in RPCs, and its conditional deletion from mouse RPCs reduced 5hmC, altered gene expressions and disrupted retinal cell proliferation and differentiation. Retinal ganglion cells were overproduced in Uhrf2-deficient retinae at the expense of VSX2+ RPCs. Most other cell types were transiently delayed in differentiation. Expression of each member of the Tet3/Uhrf2/Tdg active demethylation pathway was reduced in Uhrf2-deficient retinae, consistent with locally reduced 5hmC in their gene bodies. This study highlights a novel role of UHRF2 in controlling the transition from RPCs to differentiated cell by regulating cell cycle, epigenetic and gene expression decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge, England)
Volume149
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Keywords

  • 5-hydroxymethylcytosine
  • 5hmC
  • Retina
  • TET
  • UHRF2
  • mouse

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