State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; Savaid Medical School, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; Institute for Stem Cell and Regeneration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: [Email]
EED (embryonic ectoderm development) is a core component of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) which catalyzes the methylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) during the process of self-renewal, proliferation, and differentiation of embryonic stem cells. However, its function in the mammalian nervous system remains unexplored. Here, we report that loss of EED in the brain leads to postnatal lethality, impaired neuronal differentiation, and malformation of the dentate gyrus. Overexpression of Sox11, a downstream target of EED through interaction with H3K27me1, restores the neuronal differentiation capacity of EED-ablated neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs). Interestingly, downregulation of Cdkn2a, another downstream target of EED which is regulated in an H3K27me3-dependent manner, reverses the proliferation defect of EED-ablated NSPCs. Taken together, these findings established a critical role of EED in the development of hippocampal dentate gyrus, which might shed new light on the molecular mechanism of intellectual disability in patients with EED mutations.