PAD2-Mediated Citrullination Contributes to Efficient Oligodendrocyte Differentiation and Myelination

Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 23;27(4):1090-1102.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.03.108.


Citrullination, the deimination of peptidylarginine residues into peptidylcitrulline, has been implicated in the etiology of several diseases. In multiple sclerosis, citrullination is thought to be a major driver of pathology through hypercitrullination and destabilization of myelin. As such, inhibition of citrullination has been suggested as a therapeutic strategy for MS. Here, in contrast, we show that citrullination by peptidylarginine deiminase 2 (PAD2) contributes to normal oligodendrocyte differentiation, myelination, and motor function. We identify several targets for PAD2, including myelin and chromatin-related proteins, implicating PAD2 in epigenomic regulation. Accordingly, we observe that PAD2 inhibition and its knockdown affect chromatin accessibility and prevent the upregulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation genes. Moreover, mice lacking PAD2 display motor dysfunction and a decreased number of myelinated axons in the corpus callosum. We conclude that citrullination contributes to proper oligodendrocyte lineage progression and myelination.

Keywords: PAD2; Padi2; SILAC; chromatin accessibility; citrullination; deamination; multiple sclerosis; myelin; oligodendrocytes; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Citrullination*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Mice
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism*
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology*
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Maps
  • Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 2 / analysis
  • Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 2 / metabolism
  • Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 2 / physiology*


  • Padi2 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 2