HDAC1 and HDAC2 control the transcriptional program of myelination and the survival of Schwann cells
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are major epigenetic regulators. We show that HDAC1 and HDAC2 functions are critical for myelination of the peripheral nervous system. Using mouse genetics, we have ablated Hdac1 and Hdac2 specifically in Schwann cells, resulting in massive Schwann cell loss and virtual absence of myelin in mutant sciatic nerves. Expression of Sox10 and Krox20, the main transcriptional regulators of Schwann cell myelination, was greatly reduced. We demonstrate that in Schwann cells, HDAC1 and HDAC2 exert specific primary functions: HDAC2 activates the transcriptional program of myelination in synergy with Sox10, whereas HDAC1 controls Schwann cell survival by regulating the levels of active Î 2-catenin.