PRC1 sustains the integrity of neural fate in the absence of PRC2 function

Ayana Sawai, Sarah Pfennig, Milica Bulajić, Alexander Miller, Alireza Khodadadi-Jamayran, Esteban O. Mazzoni, Jeremy S. Dasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs) 1 and 2 maintain stable cellular memories of early fate decisions by establishing heritable patterns of gene repression. PRCs repress transcription through histone modifications and chromatin compaction, but their roles in neuronal subtype diversification are poorly defined. We found that PRC1 is essential for the specification of segmentally restricted spinal motor neuron (MN) subtypes, while PRC2 activity is dispensable to maintain MN positional identities during terminal differentiation. Mutation of the core PRC1 component Ring1 in mice leads to increased chromatin accessibility and ectopic expression of a broad variety of fates determinants, including Hox transcription factors, while neuronal class-specific features are main-tained. Loss of MN subtype identities in Ring1 mutants is due to the suppression of Hox-dependent specification programs by derepressed Hox13 paralogs (Hoxa13, Hoxb13, Hoxc13, Hoxd13). These results indicate that PRC1 can function in the absence of de novo PRC2-dependent histone methyla-tion to maintain chromatin topology and postmitotic neuronal fate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere72769
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Chickens
  • Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mice
  • Motor Neurons/metabolism
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/genetics
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2/genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'PRC1 sustains the integrity of neural fate in the absence of PRC2 function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this