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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Feb 2023 - 17 Feb 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Genetics

Neuropathic Pain

2023 Feb 10

Neurochem Res


Genome-wide Analysis of Histone H3 Lysine 27 Trimethylation Profiles in Sciatic Nerve of Chronic Constriction Injury Rats.


Chen S, Gu X, Li R, An S, Wang Z


The histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) is one of the most important chromatin modifications, which is associated with injury-activated gene expression in Schwann cells (SCs). However, the alteration of genome-wide H3K27me3 enrichments in the development of neuropathic pain is still unknown. Here, we applied the chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) approach to identify the alteration of differential enrichments of H3K27me3 in chronic constriction injury (CCI) sciatic nerve of rats and potential molecular mechanisms underlying the development of neuropathic pain. Our results indicated that CCI increased the numbers of SCs displaying H3K27 methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and H3K27me3 in the sciatic nerve. ChIP-seq data showed that CCI significantly changed H3K27me3 enrichments on gene promoters in the sciatic nerve. Bioinformatics analyses exhibited that genes gaining H3K27me3 were mostly associated with regulation of cell proliferation, response to stress and oxidation-reduction process. Genes losing this mark were enriched in neuronal generation, and MAPK, cAMP as well as ERBB signaling pathways. Importantly, IL1A, CCL2, NOS2, S100A8, BDNF, GDNF, ERBB3 and C3 were identified as key genes in neuropathic pain. CCI led to significant upregulation of key genes in the sciatic nerve. EZH2 inhibitor reversed CCI-induced increases of H3K27me3 and key gene protein levels, which were accompanied by relieved mechanical allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in CCI rats. These results indicate that genes with differential enrichments of H3K27me3 in SCs function in various cellular processes and pathways, and many are linked to neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve injury.