The identity of any cell type is determined by the specific pattern of gene expression. We show here that the ability of oligodendrocyte progenitors to acquire the identity of myelin-expressing cells or choose alternative fates is dependent on the activity of histone deacetylases. Using gene expression profiling, electrophysiological recordings, transplantation studies, and pharmacological inhibition, we demonstrate that specified NG2+ oligodendrocyte progenitors are plastic cells, whose decision to initiate an oligodendrocytic rather than astrocytic or neuronal program of gene expression requires the establishment of an epigenetic identity that is initiated by histone deacetylation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Histone modification