Mtf2-PRC2 control of canonical Wnt signaling is required for definitive erythropoiesis

Cell Discov. 2018 May 1:4:21. doi: 10.1038/s41421-018-0022-5. eCollection 2018.


Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) accessory proteins play substoichiometric, tissue-specific roles to recruit PRC2 to specific genomic loci or increase enzymatic activity, while PRC2 core proteins are required for complex stability and global levels of trimethylation of histone 3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3). Here, we demonstrate a role for the classical PRC2 accessory protein Mtf2/Pcl2 in the hematopoietic system that is more akin to that of a core PRC2 protein. Mtf2-/- erythroid progenitors demonstrate markedly decreased core PRC2 protein levels and a global loss of H3K27me3 at promoter-proximal regions. The resulting de-repression of transcriptional and signaling networks blocks definitive erythroid development, culminating in Mtf2-/- embryos dying by e15.5 due to severe anemia. Gene regulatory network (GRN) analysis demonstrated Mtf2 directly regulates Wnt signaling in erythroblasts, leading to activated canonical Wnt signaling in Mtf2-deficient erythroblasts, while chemical inhibition of canonical Wnt signaling rescued Mtf2-deficient erythroblast differentiation in vitro. Using a combination of in vitro, in vivo and systems analyses, we demonstrate that Mtf2 is a critical epigenetic regulator of Wnt signaling during erythropoiesis and recast the role of polycomb accessory proteins in a tissue-specific context.