Paternally inherited microdeletion at 15q11.2 confirms a significant role for the SNORD116 C/D box snoRNA cluster in Prader-Willi syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurobehavioral disorder manifested by infantile hypotonia and feeding difficulties in infancy, followed by morbid obesity secondary to hyperphagia. It is caused by deficiency of paternally expressed transcript(s) within the human chromosome region 15q11.2. PWS patients harboring balanced chromosomal translocations with breakpoints within small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N (SNRPN) have provided indirect evidence for a role for the imprinted C/D box containing small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) genes encoded downstream of SNRPN. In addition, recently published data provide strong evidence in support of a role for the snoRNA SNORD116 cluster (HBII-85) in PWS etiology. In this study, we performed detailed phenotypic, cytogenetic, and molecular analyses including chromosome analysis, array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH), expression studies, and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping for parent-of-origin determination of the 15q11.2 microdeletion on an 11-year-old child expressing the major components of the PWS phenotype. This child had an ?236.29?kb microdeletion at 15q11.2 within the larger Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome critical region that included the SNORD116 cluster of snoRNAs. Analysis of SNP genotypes in proband and mother provided evidence in support of the deletion being on the paternal chromosome 15. This child also met most of the major PWS diagnostic criteria including infantile hypotonia, early-onset morbid obesity, and hypogonadism. Identification and characterization of this case provide unequivocal evidence for a critical role for the SNORD116 snoRNA molecules in PWS pathogenesis. Array CGH testing for genomic copy-number changes in cases with complex phenotypes is proving to be invaluable in detecting novel alterations and enabling better genotype-phenotype correlations.
Project description:We report a 17-year-old boy who met most of the major Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) diagnostic criteria, including infantile hypotonia and poor feeding followed by hyperphagia, early-onset morbid obesity, delayed development, and characteristic facial features. However, unlike many children with PWS, he had spontaneous onset of puberty and reached a tall adult stature without growth hormone replacement therapy. A phenotype-driven genetic analysis using exome sequencing identified a heterozygous microdeletion of 71 kb in size at chr15:25,296,613-25,367,633, genome build hg 19. This deletion does not affect the SNURF-SNRPN locus, but results in the loss of several of the PWS-associated non-coding RNA species, including the SNORD116 cluster. We compared with six previous reports of patients with PWS who carried small atypical deletions encompassing the snoRNA SNORD116 cluster. These patients share similar core symptoms of PWS while displaying some atypical features, suggesting that other genes in the region may make lesser phenotypic contributions. Altogether, these rare cases provide convincing evidence that loss of the paternal copy of the SNORD116 snoRNA is sufficient to cause most of the major clinical features of PWS.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is caused by the loss of RNA expression from an imprinted region on chromosome 15 that includes SNRPN, SNORD115, and SNORD116. Currently, there are no mouse models that faithfully reflect the human phenotype and investigations rely on human post-mortem material. During molecular characterization of tissue deposited in a public brain bank from a patient diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome, we found RNA expression from SNRPN, SNORD115, and SNORD116 which does not support a genetic diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome. The patient was a female, Caucasian nursing home resident with history of morbid obesity (BMI 56.3) and mental retardation. She died at age of 56 from pulmonary embolism. SNORD115 and SNORD116 are unexpectedly stable in post mortem tissue and can be used for post-mortem diagnosis. Molecular characterization of PWS tissue donors can confirm the diagnosis and identify those patients that have been misdiagnosed.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the leading genetic cause of obesity. After initial severe hypotonia, PWS children become hyperphagic and morbidly obese, if intake is not restricted. Short stature with abnormal growth hormone secretion, hypogonadism, cognitive impairment, anxiety and behavior problems are other features. PWS is caused by lack of expression of imprinted genes in a approximately 4 mb region of chromosome band 15q11.2. Our previous translocation studies predicted a major role for the C/D box small nucleolar RNA cluster SNORD116 (PWCR1/HBII-85) in PWS. To test this hypothesis, we created a approximately 150 kb deletion of the > 40 copies of Snord116 (Pwcr1/MBII-85) in C57BL/6 mice. Snord116del mice with paternally derived deletion lack expression of this snoRNA. They have early-onset postnatal growth deficiency, but normal fertility and lifespan. While pituitary structure and somatotrophs are normal, liver Igf1 mRNA is decreased. In cognitive and behavior tests, Snord116del mice are deficient in motor learning and have increased anxiety. Around three months of age, they develop hyperphagia, but stay lean on regular and high-fat diet. On reduced caloric intake, Snord116del mice maintain their weight better than wild-type littermates, excluding increased energy requirement as a cause of hyperphagia. Normal compensatory feeding after fasting, and ability to maintain body temperature in the cold indicate normal energy homeostasis regulation. Metabolic chamber studies reveal that Snord116del mice maintain energy homeostasis by altered fuel usage. Prolonged mealtime and increased circulating ghrelin indicate a defect in meal termination mechanism. Snord116del mice, the first snoRNA deletion animal model, reveal a novel role for a non-coding RNA in growth and feeding regulation.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) are two neurodevelopmental disorders most often caused by deletions of the same region of paternally inherited and maternally inherited human chromosome 15q, respectively. AS is a single gene disorder, caused by the loss of function of the ubiquitin ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene, while PWS is still considered a contiguous gene disorder. Rare individuals with PWS who carry atypical microdeletions on chromosome 15q have narrowed the critical region for this disorder to a 108 kb region that includes the SNORD116 snoRNA cluster and the Imprinted in Prader-Willi (IPW) non-coding RNA. Here we report the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a PWS patient with an atypical microdeletion that spans the PWS critical region. We show that these iPSCs express brain-specific portions of the transcripts driven by the PWS imprinting center, including the UBE3A antisense transcript (UBE3A-ATS). Furthermore, UBE3A expression is imprinted in most of these iPSCs. These data suggest that UBE3A imprinting in neurons only requires UBE3A-ATS expression, and no other neuron-specific factors. These data also suggest that a boundary element lying within the PWS critical region prevents UBE3A-ATS expression in non-neural tissues.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (MIM #176270; PWS) is caused by lack of the paternally-derived copies, or their expression, of multiple genes in a 4 Mb region on chromosome 15q11.2. Known mechanisms include large deletions, maternal uniparental disomy or mutations involving the imprinting center. De novo balanced reciprocal translocations in 5 reported individuals had breakpoints clustering in SNRPN intron 2 or exon 20/intron 20. To further dissect the PWS phenotype and define the minimal critical region for PWS features, we have studied a 22 year old male with a milder PWS phenotype and a de novo translocation t(4;15)(q27;q11.2).We used metaphase FISH to narrow the breakpoint region and molecular analyses to map the breakpoints on both chromosomes at the nucleotide level. The expression of genes on chromosome 15 on both sides of the breakpoint was determined by RT-PCR analyses.Pertinent clinical features include neonatal hypotonia with feeding difficulties, hypogonadism, short stature, late-onset obesity, learning difficulties, abnormal social behavior and marked tolerance to pain, as well as sticky saliva and narcolepsy. Relative macrocephaly and facial features are not typical for PWS. The translocation breakpoints were identified within SNRPN intron 17 and intron 10 of a spliced non-coding transcript in band 4q27. LINE and SINE sequences at the exchange points may have contributed to the translocation event. By RT-PCR of lymphoblasts and fibroblasts, we find that upstream SNURF/SNRPN exons and snoRNAs HBII-437 and HBII-13 are expressed, but the downstream snoRNAs PWCR1/HBII-85 and HBII-438A/B snoRNAs are not.As part of the PWCR1/HBII-85 snoRNA cluster is highly conserved between human and mice, while no copy of HBII-438 has been found in mouse, we conclude that PWCR1/HBII-85 snoRNAs is likely to play a major role in the PWS- phenotype.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a highly variable genetic disorder affecting multiple body systems whose most consistent major manifestations include hypotonia with poor suck and poor weight gain in infancy; mild mental retardation, hypogonadism, growth hormone insufficiency causing short stature for the family, early childhood-onset hyperphagia and obesity, characteristic appearance, and behavioral and sometimes psychiatric disturbance. Many more minor characteristics can be helpful in diagnosis and important in management. PWS is an example of a genetic condition involving genomic imprinting. It can occur by three main mechanisms, which lead to absence of expression of paternally inherited genes in the 15q11.2-q13 region: paternal microdeletion, maternal uniparental disomy, and imprinting defect.
Project description:Profound hyperphagia is a major disabling feature of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Characterization of the mechanisms that underlie PWS-associated hyperphagia has been slowed by the paucity of animal models with increased food intake or obesity. Mice with a microdeletion encompassing the Snord116 cluster of noncoding RNAs encoded within the Prader-Willi minimal deletion critical region have previously been reported to show growth retardation and hyperphagia. Here, consistent with previous reports, we observed growth retardation in Snord116+/-P mice with a congenital paternal Snord116 deletion. However, these mice neither displayed increased food intake nor had reduced hypothalamic expression of the proprotein convertase 1 gene PCSK1 or its upstream regulator NHLH2, which have recently been suggested to be key mediators of PWS pathogenesis. Specifically, we disrupted Snord116 expression in the mediobasal hypothalamus in Snord116fl mice via bilateral stereotaxic injections of a Cre-expressing adeno-associated virus (AAV). While the Cre-injected mice had no change in measured energy expenditure, they became hyperphagic between 9 and 10 weeks after injection, with a subset of animals developing marked obesity. In conclusion, we show that selective disruption of Snord116 expression in the mediobasal hypothalamus models the hyperphagia of PWS.
Project description:The SNORD116 locus lies in the 15q11-13 region of paternally expressed genes implicated in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a complex disease accompanied by obesity and severe neurobehavioural disturbances. Cases of PWS patients with a deletion encompassing the SNORD116 gene cluster, but preserving the expression of flanking genes, have been described. We report a 23-year-old woman who presented clinical criteria of PWS, including the behavioural and nutritional features, obesity, developmental delay and endocrine dysfunctions with hyperghrelinemia. We found a paternally transmitted highly restricted deletion of the SNORD116 gene cluster, the shortest described to date (118?kb). This deletion was also present in the father. This finding in a human case strongly supports the current hypothesis that lack of the paternal SNORD116 gene cluster has a determinant role in the pathogenesis of PWS. Moreover, targeted analysis of the SNORD116 gene cluster, complementary to SNRPN methylation analysis, should be carried out in subjects with a phenotype suggestive of PWS.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex and multisystem neurobehavioral disorder. The molecular mechanism of PWS is deficiency of paternally expressed gene gene or genes from the chromosome 15q11-q13. Due to imprinted gene regulation, the same genes in the maternal chromosome 15q11-q13 are structurally intact but transcriptionally repressed by an epigenetic mechanism. The unique molecular defect underlying PWS renders an exciting opportunity to explore epigenetic-based therapy to reactivate the expression of repressed PWS genes from the maternal chromosome. Inactivation of H3K9m3 methyltransferase SETDB1 and zinc finger protein ZNF274 results in reactivation of SNRPN and SNORD116 cluster from the maternal chromosomes in PWS patient iPSCs and iPSC-derived neurons, respectively. High content screening of small molecule libraries using cells derived from transgenic mice carrying the SNRPN-EGFP fusion protein has discovered that inhibitors of EHMT2/G9a, a histone 3 lysine 9 methyltransferase, are capable of reactivating expression of paternally expressed SNRPN and SNORD116 from the maternal chromosome, both in cultured PWS patient-derived fibroblasts and in a PWS mouse model. Treatment with an EMHT2/G9a inhibitor also rescues perinatal lethality and failure to thrive phenotypes in a PWS mouse model. These findings present the first evidence to support a proof-of-principle for epigenetic-based therapy for the PWS in humans.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex multisystem genetic disorder that is caused by the lack of expression of paternally inherited imprinted genes on chromosome 15q11-q13. This syndrome has a characteristic phenotype including severe neonatal hypotonia, early-onset hyperphagia, development of morbid obesity, short stature, hypogonadism, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and psychiatric problems. PWS is an example of a genetic condition caused by genomic imprinting. It can occur via 3 main mechanisms that lead to the absence of expression of paternally inherited genes in the 15q11.2-q13 region: paternal microdeletion, maternal uniparental disomy, and an imprinting defect. Over 99% of PWS cases can be diagnosed using DNA methylation analysis. Early diagnosis of PWS is important for effective long-term management. Growth hormone (GH) treatment improves the growth, physical phenotype, and body composition of patients with PWS. In recent years, GH treatment in infants has been shown to have beneficial effects on the growth and neurological development of patients diagnosed during infancy. There is a clear need for an integrated multidisciplinary approach to facilitate early diagnosis and optimize management to improve quality of life, prevent complications, and prolong life expectancy in patients with PWS.