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enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit OKDB#: 3825
 Symbols: EZH2 Species: human
 Synonyms: WVS, ENX1, KMT6, WVS2, ENX-1, EZH2b, KMT6A  Locus: 7q36.1 in Homo sapiens

For retrieval of Nucleotide and Amino Acid sequences please go to: OMIM Entrez Gene
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DNA Microarrays
link to BioGPS
General Comment A Non-Cell Autonomous Role of E(z) to Prevent Germ Cells from Turning on a Somatic Cell Marker. Eun SH 2014 et al. In many metazoans, germ cells are separated from somatic lineages early in development and maintain their identity throughout life. Here, we show that a Polycomb group (PcG) component, Enhancer of Zeste [E(z)], a histone transferase that generates trimethylation at lysine 27 of histone H3, maintains germline identity in Drosophila adult testes. We find excessive early-stage somatic gonadal cells in E(z) mutant testes, which originate from both overproliferative cyst stem cells and germ cells turning on an early-stage somatic cell marker. Using complementary lineage-tracing experiments in E(z) mutant testes, a portion of excessive early-stage somatic gonadal cells are found to originate from early-stage germ cells, including germline stem cells. Moreover, knocking down E(z) specifically in somatic cells caused this change, which suggests a non-cell autonomous role of E(z) to antagonize somatic identity in germ cells. /////////////////////////

NCBI Summary: This gene encodes a member of the Polycomb-group (PcG) family. PcG family members form multimeric protein complexes, which are involved in maintaining the transcriptional repressive state of genes over successive cell generations. This protein associates with the embryonic ectoderm development protein, the VAV1 oncoprotein, and the X-linked nuclear protein. This protein may play a role in the hematopoietic and central nervous systems. Multiple alternatively splcied transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Feb 2011]
General function
Cellular localization Nuclear
Ovarian function Ovulation, Oocyte maturation, Early embryo development
Comment EZH2 is essential for spindle assembly regulation and chromosomal integrity during porcine oocyte meiotic maturation†. Cai Q et al. (2020) Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) has been extensively investigated to participate in diverse biological processes, including carcinogenesis, the cell cycle, X-chromosome inactivation and early embryonic development. However, the functions of this protein during mammalian oocyte meiotic maturation remain largely unexplored. Here, combined with RNA-Seq, we provided evidence that EZH2 is essential for oocyte meiotic maturation in pigs. First, EZH2 protein expression increased with oocyte progression from GV to MII stage. Second, the siRNA-mediated depletion of EZH2 led to accelerated GVBD and early occurrence of the first polar body extrusion. Third, EZH2 knockdown resulted in defective spindle assembly, abnormal SAC activity, and unstable K-MT attachment, which was concomitant with the increased rate of aneuploidy. Finally, EZH2 silencing exacerbated oxidative stress by increasing ROS levels and disrupting the distribution of active mitochondria in porcine oocytes. Furthermore, parthenogenetic embryonic development was impaired following the depletion of EZH2 at GV stage. Taken together, we concluded that EZH2 is necessary for porcine oocyte meiotic progression through regulating spindle organization, maintaining chromosomal integrity and mitochondrial function.////////////////// Effect of EZH2 knockdown on preimplantation development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos. Cai Q et al. (2019) The EZH2 protein endows the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) with histone lysine methyltransferase activity that is associated with transcriptional repression. Recent investigations have documented crucial roles for EZH2 in mediating X-inactivation, stem cell pluripotency and cancer metastasis. However, there is little evidence demonstrating the maternal effect of EZH2 on porcine preimplantation development. Here, we took parthenogenetic activation embryos to eliminate the confounding paternal influence. We showed that the dynamic expression of EZH2 during early development was accompanied by changes in H3K27me3 levels. Depletion of EZH2 in MII oocytes by small interfering RNA not only impaired embryonic development at the blastocyst stage (P < 0.05), but also disrupted the equilibrium of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in the embryo. Interestingly, the expression of TET1, a member of Ten-Eleven Translocation gene family for converting 5-methylcytosine (5 mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), was decreased after EZH2 knockdown, in contrast to the increase of the other two members, TET2 and TET3 (P < 0.05). These results indicate a correlation between histone methylation and DNA methylation, and between EZH2 and TET1. Along with the downregulation of TET1, the expression of the pluripotency gene NANOG was decreased (P < 0.05), which is consistent with a previous finding in mouse ES cells. Meanwhile, the abundance of OCT4 and SOX2 were also down-regulated. Moreover, EZH2 knockdown reduced the capacity of cells in the blastocysts to resist apoptosis. Taken together, our data suggest that EZH2 is integral to the developmental program of porcine parthenogenetic embryos and exerts its function by regulating pluripotency, differentiation and apoptosis.////////////////// EZH2 is required for mouse oocyte meiotic maturation by interacting with and stabilizing spindle assembly checkpoint protein BubRI. Qu Y et al. (2016) Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) trimethylates histone H3 Lys 27 and plays key roles in a variety of biological processes. Stability of spindle assembly checkpoint protein BubR1 is essential for mitosis in somatic cells and for meiosis in oocytes. However, the role of EZH2 in oocyte meiotic maturation was unknown. Here, we presented a mechanism underlying EZH2 control of BubR1 stability in the meiosis of mouse oocytes. We identified a methyltransferase activity-independent function of EZH2 by demonstrating that EZH2 regulates spindle assembly and the polar body I extrusion. EZH2 was increased with the oocyte progression from GVBD to MII, while EZH2 was concentrated on the chromosomes. Interestingly, inhibition of EZH2 methyltranferase activity by DZNep or GSK343 did not affect oocyte meiotic maturation. However, depletion of EZH2 by morpholino led to chromosome misalignment and abnormal spindle assembly. Furthermore, ectopic expression of EZH2 led to oocyte meiotic maturation arrested at the MI stage followed by chromosome misalignment and aneuploidy. Mechanistically, EZH2 directly interacted with and stabilized BubR1, an effect driving EZH2 into the concert of meiosis regulation. Collectively, we provided a paradigm that EZH2 is required for mouse oocyte meiotic maturation.//////////////////
Expression regulated by LH, Steroids
Comment MicroRNA 26a targets Ezh2 to regulate apoptosis in mouse ovarian granulosa cells. Huo S et al. (2021) In the mammalian ovary, <1% of the follicles ovulate, with most undergoing degenerative atresia during ovarian follicular development. Follicular atresia is caused by the apoptosis of granulosa cells (GCs), although the precise underpinning mechanism remains unidentified. MiR-26a regulates various cellular events, including cell division, apoptotic signaling, and cell differentiation, migration, and autophagy. Here, we demonstrated that miR-26a regulated apoptosis in GCs in the mouse ovary through Ezh2, a key regulator of GC viability. We also found that transcription of miR-26a changed in response to an LH antagonist and a GnRH agonist. In addition, miR-26a transcription was downregulated following LH-induced transition of GCs to granulosa-lutein cells (GLCs). Dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed Ezh2 as a miR-26a target. Exogenous expression in GCs of miR-26a mimics resulted in decreased Ezh2 expression, while miR-26a inhibition in GCs induced the opposite phenotype. Ezh2 silencing additionally reduced the anti-apoptotic effect of miR-26a inhibition in GCs. These data highlight the critical role of miR-26a in targeting Ezh2 and regulating apoptosis in mouse ovarian GCs.Abbreviations: GC: Granulosa cell; GLCs: Granulosa-lutein cells; LH: Luteinizing hormone; miRNA: MicroRNA; NC: Negative control; Cyt-c: Cytochrome c; GnRH: Gonadotropin releasing hormone; i.p.: intraperitoneal injection; cKO: conditional knock-out; WB: Western blotting; hCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin; NPC: nasopharyngeal carcinoma.//////////////////Androgens Regulate Ovarian Gene Expression Through Modulation of Ezh2 Expression and Activity. Ma X et al. (2017) Significant evidence suggests that androgen signaling through classical androgen receptors is critical for both normal and pathologic ovarian physiology. Specifically, we and others have shown that, in mouse granulosa cells, androgen actions through both extra-nuclear and nuclear androgen receptor signaling are critical for normal follicle development and ovulation. Here we show that androgens through the PI3K/Akt pathway rapidly (within minutes) phosphorylate and inhibit activity of the Polycomb group protein enhancer of zeste homologue 2 (Ezh2). Over the course of 24-48 hours, androgens then induce expression of the microRNA, miR-101, which targets Ezh2 mRNA, leading to a nearly complete loss of Ezh2 protein expression. This long-term androgen-induced loss of Ezh2 actions ultimately results in sustained reduction of the H3K27me3-repressive mark in the promoter region of the Runt-related transcription factor-1 (Runx1) gene, a luteinizing hormone (LH)-induced transcription factor essential for ovulation, leading to increased Runx1 mRNA expression. Accordingly, blocking androgen-induced inhibition of Ezh2 in vivo adversely affects LH-induced Runx1 mRNA expression and subsequent ovulation. Importantly, while estrogen treatment of granulosa cells similarly causes rapid activation of PI3K/Akt pathway and short-term phosphorylation of Ezh2, it does not induce miR-101 expression and thereby does not reduce overall Ezh2 expression, demonstrating the androgen specificity of long-term Ezh2 suppression. Thus, this study provides insight regarding how androgen-induced extra-nuclear kinase signaling and intra-nuclear transcription through Ezh2 modifications may influence the expression pattern of genes, ultimately affecting various downstream physiological processes.////////////////// Changes in gene expression of histone modification enzymes in rat granulosa cells undergoing luteinization during ovulation. Maekawa R et al. (2016) The ovulatory LH surge rapidly alters the expression of steroidogenesis-related genes such as steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) in granulosa cells (GCs) undergoing luteinization. We recently reported that histone modifications contribute to these changes. Histone modifications are regulated by a variety of histone modification enzymes. This study investigated the changes in gene expression of histone modification enzymes in rat GCs undergoing luteinization after the induction of ovulation. The extracellular regulated kinase (ERK)-1/2 is a mediator in the intracellular signaling pathway stimulated by the ovulatory LH surge and regulates the expression of a number of genes in GCs. We further investigated whether ERK-1/2 is involved in the regulation of the histone modification at the StAR promoter region in GCs undergoing luteinization. GCs were obtained from rats treated with equine chorionic gonadotropin (CG) before (0 h) and after human (h) CG injection. The expressions of 84 genes regulating histone modifications or DNA methylation were measured using a PCR array. Five genes (HDAC4, HDAC10, EZH2, SETDB2, and CIITA) were identified as histone acetylation- or histone methylation-related genes, and were significantly altered after hCG injection. None of the genes were related to DNA methylation. mRNA levels of EZH2, SETDB2, HDAC4, and HDAC10 decreased and CIITA mRNA levels increased 4 or 12 h after hCG injection. GCs isolated after eCG injection were incubated with hCG for 4 h to induce luteinization. StAR mRNA levels were significantly increased by hCG accompanied by the increase in H3K4me3 of the StAR promoter region. StAR mRNA expression was inhibited by the ERK inhibitor with the significant decrease of H3K4me3. These results suggest that hCG increases StAR gene expression through the ERK-1/2-mediated signaling which is also associated with histone modification of the promoter region. Gene expressions of histone modification enzymes change in GCs undergoing luteinization after ovulation induction. This change may play important roles in regulating the expression of various genes during the early stage of luteinization, which may be critical for the subsequent corpus luteum formation.//////////////////
Ovarian localization Oocyte
Comment Polycomb genes expression and histone H3 lysine 27 tri-methylation changes during bovine preimplantation development. Ross P et al. Tri-methylation of Histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is established by polycomb group genes and is associated with stable and heritable gene silencing. The aim of this study was to characterize the expression of polycomb genes and the dynamics of H3K27me3 during bovine oocyte maturation and preimplantation development. Oocytes and in vitro produced embryos were collected at different stages of development. Polycomb genes expression was analyzed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescence. Global H3K27me3 levels were determined by semiquantitative immunofluorescence. Transcripts for EZH2, EED and SUZ12 were detected at all stages analyzed, with EZH2 levels being highest of the three at early stages of development. By the time the embryo reached the blastocyst stage the level of PcG gene mRNA levels significantly increased. Immunofluorescence staining indicated nuclear expression of EZH2 at all stages while nuclear localized EED and SUZ12 were only evident at morula and blastocyst stages. Semiquantitative analysis of H3K27me3 levels showed that nuclear fluorescence intensity was highest in immature oocytes, steadily decreased after fertilization to reach a nadir at the 8-cell stage, and then increased at the blastocyst stage. These results suggest that the absence of polycomb repressive complex 2 proteins localized to the nucleus of early embryos could be responsible for the gradual decrease in H3K27me3 during early preimplantation development.
Follicle stages
Mutations 1 mutations

Species: mouse
Mutation name: None
type: null mutation
fertility: embryonic lethal
Comment: The polycomb-group gene Ezh2 is required for early mouse development. O'Carroll D et al. Polycomb-group (Pc-G) genes are required for the stable repression of the homeotic selector genes and other developmentally regulated genes, presumably through the modulation of chromatin domains. Among the Drosophila Pc-G genes, Enhancer of zeste [E(z)] merits special consideration since it represents one of the Pc-G genes most conserved through evolution. In addition, the E(Z) protein family contains the SET domain, which has recently been linked with histone methyltransferase (HMTase) activity. Although E(Z)-related proteins have not (yet) been directly associated with HMTase activity, mammalian Ezh2 is a member of a histone deacetylase complex. To investigate its in vivo function, we generated mice deficient for Ezh2. The Ezh2 null mutation results in lethality at early stages of mouse development. Ezh2 mutant mice either cease developing after implantation or initiate but fail to complete gastrulation. Moreover, Ezh2-deficient blastocysts display an impaired potential for outgrowth, preventing the establishment of Ezh2-null embryonic stem cells. Interestingly, Ezh2 is up-regulated upon fertilization and remains highly expressed at the preimplantation stages of mouse development. Together, these data suggest an essential role for Ezh2 during early mouse development and genetically link Ezh2 with eed and YY1, the only other early-acting Pc-G genes.

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created: Sept. 22, 2008, 5:08 p.m. by: hsueh   email:
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last update: June 8, 2021, 8:27 a.m. by: hsueh    email:

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