Document Type


Publication Date



Oligodendrocytes (OLs) are the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system. They are derived from differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors through a process requiring cell cycle exit and histone modifications. Here we identify the histone arginine methyl-transferase PRMT5, a molecule catalyzing symmetric methylation of histone H4R3, as critical for developmental myelination. PRMT5 pharmacological inhibition, CRISPR/cas9 targeting, or genetic ablation decrease p53-dependent survival and impair differentiation without affecting proliferation. Conditional ablation of Prmt5 in progenitors results in hypomyelination, reduced survival and differentiation. Decreased histone H4R3 symmetric methylation is followed by increased nuclear acetylation of H4K5, and is rescued by pharmacological inhibition of histone acetyltransferases. Data obtained using purified histones further validate the results obtained in mice and in cultured oligodendrocyte progenitors. Together, these results identify PRMT5 as critical for oligodendrocyte differentiation and developmental myelination by modulating the cross-talk between histone arginine methylation and lysine acetylation.


This article was originally published in Nature Communications, available at DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04863-9.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.