The ring finger protein PCGF6 (polycomb group ring finger 6) interacts with RING1A/B and E2F6 associated factors to form a non-canonical PRC1 (polycomb repressive complex 1) known as PCGF6-PRC1. Here, we demonstrate that PCGF6-PRC1 plays a role in repressing a subset of PRC1 target genes by recruiting RING1B and mediating downstream mono-ubiquitination of histone H2A. PCGF6-PRC1 bound loci are highly enriched for promoters of germ cell-related genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Conditional ablation of Pcgf6 in ESCs leads to robust de-repression of such germ cell-related genes, in turn affecting cell growth and viability. We also find a role for PCGF6 in pre- and peri-implantation mouse embryonic development. We further show that a heterodimer of the transcription factors MAX and MGA recruits PCGF6 to target loci. PCGF6 thus links sequence specific target recognition by the MAX/MGA complex to PRC1-dependent transcriptional silencing of germ cell-specific genes in pluripotent stem cells.
Leptin receptors (ObRs) in the forebrain and hindbrain have been independently recognized as important mediators of leptin responses. It is unclear how leptin activity in these areas is integrated. We tested whether both forebrain and hindbrain ObRs have to be activated simultaneously to change energy balance and to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Previous studies used acute leptin injections in either the third ventricle (1-5 μg) or the fourth ventricle (3-10 μg); here we used 12-day infusions of low doses of leptin in one or both ventricles (0.1 μg/24 h in third, 0.6 μg/24 h in fourth). Male Sprague Dawley rats were fitted with third and fourth ventricle cannulas, and saline or leptin was infused from Alzet pumps for 6 or 12 days. Rats that received leptin into only the third or the fourth ventricle were not different from controls that received saline in both ventricles. By contrast, rats with low-dose leptin infusions into both the third and fourth ventricle showed a dramatic 60% reduction in food intake that was reversed on day 6, a 20% weight loss that stabilized on day 6, and a 50% decrease in body fat at day 12 despite the correction of food intake. They displayed normal activity and maintained energy expenditure despite weight loss, indicating inappropriately high thermogenesis that coincided with increased signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation in the brainstem. Altogether, these findings show that with low doses of leptin, chronic activation of both hypothalamic and brainstem ObRs is required to reduce body fat.