Woodhouse S, Pugazhendhi D, Brien P, Pell JM.
Tissue generation and repair requires a stepwise process of cell fate restriction to ensure adult stem cells differentiate in a timely and appropriate manner. A crucial role has been implicated for Polycomb-group (PcG) proteins and the H3K27me3 repressive histone mark, in coordinating the transcriptional programmes necessary for this process, but the targets and developmental timing for this repression remain unclear. To address these questions, we generated novel genome-wide maps of H3K27me3 and H3K4me3 in freshly isolated muscle stem cells. These data, together with the analysis of two conditional Ezh2-null mouse strains, identified a critical proliferation phase in which Ezh2 activity is essential. Mice lacking Ezh2 in satellite cells exhibited decreased muscle growth, severely impaired regeneration and reduced stem cell number, due to a profound failure of the proliferative progenitor population to expand. Surprisingly, deletion of Ezh2 after the onset of terminal differentiation did not impede muscle repair or homeostasis. Using these knockout models, RNA-Seq and the ChIP-Seq datasets we show that Ezh2 does not regulate the muscle differentiation process in vivo. These results emphasise the lineage and cell type specific functions for Ezh2 and the Polycomb repressive complex 2.