Region specific knock-out reveals distinct roles of chromatin modifiers in adult neurogenic niches

Christopher T. Rhodes, Giulia Zunino, Shu Wei Angela Huang, Sandra M. Cardona, Astrid E. Cardona, Mitchel S. Berger, Vance P. Lemmon, Chin Hsing Annie Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Histone methyltransferases (HMTs) are present in heterogeneous cell populations within the adult brain including neurogenic niches. Yet the question remains whether loss of HMTs and the resulting changes in histone methylation alter cell fate in a region-specific manner. We utilized stereotaxic injection of Cre recombinant protein into the adult neurogenic niches, the subventricular zone (SVZ) adjacent to the lateral ventricle and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the dentate gyrus. We confirmed that Cre protein was enzymatically active in vivo and recombination events were restricted to the vicinity of injection areas. In this study, we focus on using Cre mediated recombination in mice harboring floxed HMT: enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) or suppressor of variegation homolog (Suv4-20h). Injectable Cre protein successfully knocked out either EZH2 or Suv4-20h, allowing assessment of long-term effects in a region-specific fashion. We performed meso-scale imaging and flow cytometry for phenotype analysis and unbiased quantification. We demonstrated that regional loss of EZH2 affects the differentiation paradigm of neural stem progenitor cells as well as the maintenance of stem cell population. We further demonstrated that regional loss of Suv4-20h influences the cell cycle but does not affect stem cell differentiation patterns. Therefore, Cre protein mediated knock-out a given HMT unravel their distinguishable and important roles in adult neurogenic niches. This Cre protein-based approach offers tightly-controlled knockouts in multiple cell types simultaneously for studying diverse regulatory mechanisms and is optimal for region-specific manipulation within complex, heterogeneous brain architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2)
  • subgranular zone
  • subventricular zone
  • suppressor of variegation homolog (Suv4-20h)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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