Imprinted expression of UBE3A in non-neuronal cells from a Prader-Willi syndrome patient with an atypical deletion.
ABSTRACT: 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 (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) are oppositely imprinted autism-spectrum disorders with known genetic bases, but complex epigenetic mechanisms underlie their pathogenesis. The PWS/AS locus on 15q11-q13 is regulated by an imprinting control region that is maternally methylated and silenced. The PWS imprinting control region is the promoter for a one megabase paternal transcript encoding the ubiquitous protein-coding Snrpn gene and multiple neuron-specific noncoding RNAs, including the PWS-related Snord116 repetitive locus of small nucleolar RNAs and host genes, and the antisense transcript to AS-causing ubiquitin ligase encoding Ube3a (Ube3a-ATS). Neuron-specific transcriptional progression through Ube3a-ATS correlates with paternal Ube3a silencing and chromatin decondensation. Interestingly, topoisomerase inhibitors, including topotecan, were recently identified in an unbiased drug screen for compounds that could reverse the silent paternal allele of Ube3a in neurons, but the mechanism of topotecan action on the PWS/AS locus is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that topotecan treatment stabilizes the formation of RNA:DNA hybrids (R loops) at G-skewed repeat elements within paternal Snord116, corresponding to increased chromatin decondensation and inhibition of Ube3a-ATS expression. Neural precursor cells from paternal Snord116 deletion mice exhibit increased Ube3a-ATS levels in differentiated neurons and show a reduced effect of topotecan compared with wild-type neurons. These results demonstrate that the AS candidate drug topotecan acts predominantly through stabilizing R loops and chromatin decondensation at the paternally expressed PWS Snord116 locus. Our study holds promise for targeted therapies to the Snord116 locus for both AS and PWS.
Project description:Genomic imprinting, representing parent-specific expression of alleles at a locus, raises many questions about how--and especially why--epigenetic silencing of mammalian genes evolved. We present the first in-depth study of how a human imprinted domain evolved, analyzing a domain containing several imprinted genes that are involved in human disease. Using comparisons of orthologous genes in humans, marsupials, and the platypus, we discovered that the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome region on human Chromosome 15q was assembled only recently (105-180 million years ago). This imprinted domain arose after a region bearing UBE3A (Angelman syndrome) fused with an unlinked region bearing SNRPN (Prader-Willi syndrome), which had duplicated from the non-imprinted SNRPB/B'. This region independently acquired several retroposed gene copies and arrays of small nucleolar RNAs from different parts of the genome. In their original configurations, SNRPN and UBE3A are expressed from both alleles, implying that acquisition of imprinting occurred after their rearrangement and required the evolution of a control locus. Thus, the evolution of imprinting in viviparous mammals is ongoing.
Project description:Angelman syndrome (AS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are neurodevelopmental disorders of genomic imprinting. AS results from loss of function of the ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene, whereas the genetic defect in PWS is unknown. Although induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide invaluable models of human disease, nuclear reprogramming could limit the usefulness of iPSCs from patients who have AS and PWS should the genomic imprint marks be disturbed by the epigenetic reprogramming process. Our iPSCs derived from patients with AS and PWS show no evidence of DNA methylation imprint erasure at the cis-acting PSW imprinting center. Importantly, we find that, as in normal brain, imprinting of UBE3A is established during neuronal differentiation of AS iPSCs, with the paternal UBE3A allele repressed concomitant with up-regulation of the UBE3A antisense transcript. These iPSC models of genomic imprinting disorders will facilitate investigation of the AS and PWS disease processes and allow study of the developmental timing and mechanism of UBE3A repression in human neurons.
Project description:Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a neurogenetic disorder caused by the deletion of imprinted genes on the paternally inherited human chromosome 15q11-q13. This locus harbours a long non-protein-coding RNA (U-UBE3A-ATS) that contains six intron-encoded snoRNAs, including the SNORD116 and SNORD115 repetitive clusters. The 3'-region of U-UBE3A-ATS is transcribed in the cis-antisense direction to the ubiquitin-protein ligase E3A (UBE3A) gene. Deletion of the SNORD116 region causes key characteristics of PWS. There are few indications that SNORD115 might regulate serotonin receptor (5HT2C) pre-mRNA processing. Here we performed quantitative real-time expression analyses of RNAs from the PWS locus across 20 human tissues and combined it with deep-sequencing data derived from Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE-seq) libraries. We found that the expression profiles of SNORD64, SNORD107, SNORD108 and SNORD116 are similar across analyzed tissues and correlate well with SNORD116 embedded U-UBE3A-ATS exons (IPW116). Notable differences in expressions between the aforementioned RNAs and SNORD115 together with the host IPW115 and UBE3A cis-antisense exons were observed. CAGE-seq analysis revealed the presence of potential transcriptional start sites originated from the U-UBE3A-ATS spanning region. Our findings indicate novel aspects for the expression regulation in the PWS locus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Proximal chromosome 15q is implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders including Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, autistic disorder and developmental abnormalities resulting from chromosomal deletions or duplications. A subset of genes in this region are subject to genomic imprinting, the expression of the gene from only one parental allele. RESULTS:We have now identified the NDNL2 (also known as MAGE-G) gene within the 15q autistic disorder susceptibility region and have mapped its murine homolog to the region of conserved synteny near necdin (Ndn) on mouse Chr 7. NDNL2/MAGE-G is a member of a large gene family that includes the X-linked MAGE cluster, MAGED1 (NRAGE), MAGEL2 and NDN, where the latter two genes are implicated in Prader-Willi syndrome. We have now determined that NDNL2/Ndnl2 is widely expressed in mouse and human fetal and adult tissues, and that it is apparently not subject to genomic imprinting by the PWS/AS Imprinting Center. CONCLUSION:Although NDNL2/MAGE-G in the broadly defined chromosome 15 autistic disorder susceptibility region, it is not likely to be pathogenic based on its wide expression pattern and lack of imprinted expression.
Project description:Angelman syndrome, Prader-Will syndrome and Dup15q syndrome map to a cluster of imprinted genes located at 15q11-q13. Imprinting at this domain is regulated by an imprinting control region consisting of two distinct elements, the Angelman syndrome imprinting center (AS-IC) and the Prader-Willi syndrome imprinting center (PWS-IC). Individuals inheriting deletions of the AS-IC exhibit reduced expression of the maternally expressed UBE3A gene and biallelic expression of paternal-only genes. We have previously demonstrated that AS-IC activity partly consists of providing transcription across the PWS-IC in oocytes, and that these transcripts are necessary for maternal imprinting of Snrpn. Here we report a novel mouse mutation that truncates transcripts prior to transiting the PWS-IC and results in a domain-wide imprinting defect. These results confirm a transcription-based model for imprint setting at this domain. The imprinting defect can be preempted by removal of the transcriptional block in oocytes, but not by its removal in early embryos. Imprinting defect mice exhibit several traits often found in individuals with Angelman syndrome imprinting defects.
Project description:Parental imprinting is a form of epigenetic regulation that results in parent-of-origin differential gene expression. To study Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a developmental imprinting disorder, we generated patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) harboring distinct deletions in the affected region on chromosome 15. Studying PWS-iPSCs and human parthenogenetic iPSCs unexpectedly revealed substantial upregulation of virtually all maternally expressed genes (MEGs) in the imprinted DLK1-DIO3 locus on chromosome 14. Subsequently, we identified IPW, a long noncoding RNA in the critical region of the PWS locus, as a regulator of the DLK1-DIO3 region, as its over-expression in PWS and parthenogenetic iPSCs results in downregulation of the MEGs in this locus. We further show that gene expression changes in the DLK1-DIO3 region coincide with chromatin modifications, rather than DNA methylation levels. Our results suggest that a subset of PWS phenotypes may arise from dysregulation of an imprinted locus distinct from the PWS region. Gene expression analysis was performed on a total of 4 human cell lines, including 3 Prader-Willi Syndrome indcued pluripotent stem cell lines - derived from 3 affected individuals and one of their parental fibroblast cell line.
Project description:The human chr15q11-q13 imprinted cluster is linked to several disorders, including Prader-Willi (PWS) and Angelman (AS) syndromes. Recently, disease modeling approaches based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been used to study these syndromes. A concern regarding the use of these cells for imprinted disease modeling is the numerous imprinting defects found in many iPSCs. Here, by reprogramming skin fibroblasts from a control and AS individuals, we generated several iPSC lines and addressed the stability of imprinting status across the PWS/AS domain. We focused on three important regulatory DNA elements which are all differentially methylated regions (DMRs), methylated on the maternal allele: the PWS imprinting center (PWS-IC), which is a germline DMR and the somatic NDN and MKRN3 DMRs, hierarchically controlled by PWS-IC. Normal PWS-IC methylation pattern was maintained in most iPSC lines; however, loss of maternal methylation in one out of five control iPSC lines resulted in a monoallelic to biallelic switch for many imprinted genes in this domain. Surprisingly, MKRN3 DMR was found aberrantly hypermethylated in all control and AS iPSCs, regardless of the methylation status of the PWS-IC master regulator. This suggests a loss of hierarchical control of imprinting at PWS/AS region. We confirmed these results in established iPSC lines derived using different reprogramming procedures. Overall, we show that hierarchy of imprinting control in donor cells might not apply to iPSCs, accounting for their spectrum of imprinting alterations. Such differences in imprinting regulation should be taken into consideration for the use of iPSCs in disease modeling.
Project description:Angelman syndrome (AS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are distinct clinical phenotypes resulting from maternal and paternal deficiencies, respectively, in human chromosome 15qll-q13. Although several imprinted, paternally expressed transcripts have been identified within the PWS candidate region, no maternally expressed gene has yet been identified within the AS candidate region. We have developed an integrated physical map spanning the PWS and AS candidate regions and localized two breakpoints, including a cryptic t(14;15) translocation associated with AS and a non-AS 15q deletion, which substantially narrow the AS candidate region to approximately 250 kb. Mapping data indicate that the entire transcriptional unit of the E6-AP ubiquitin-protein ligase (UBE3A) gene lies within the AS region. The UBE3A locus expresses a transcript of approximately 5 kb at low to moderate levels in all tissues tested. The mouse homolog of UBE3A was cloned and sequenced revealing a high degree of conservation at nucleotide and protein levels. Northern and RT-PCR analysis of Ube3a expression in mouse tissues from animals with segmental, paternal uniparental disomy failed to detect substantially reduced or absent expression compared to control animals, failing to provide any evidence for maternal-specific expression from this locus. Recent identification of de novo truncating mutations in UBE3A taken with these observations indicates that mutations in UBE3A can lead to AS and suggests that this locus may encode both imprinted and biallelically expressed products.
Project description:The Angelman syndrome gene, UBE3A, is subject to genomic imprinting controlled by mechanisms that are only partially understood. Its antisense transcript, UBE3A-ATS, is also imprinted and hypothesized to suppress UBE3A in cis. In this research, we showed that the mouse antisense ortholog, Ube3a-ATS, was transcribed by RNA polymerase (RNAP) II. However, unlike typical protein-coding transcripts, Ube3a-ATS was not poly-adenylated and was localized exclusively in the nucleus. It was relatively unstable with a half-life of 4 h, shorter than most protein-coding RNAs tested. To understand the role of Ube3a-ATS in vivo, a mouse model with a 0.9-kb genomic deletion over the paternal Snrpn major promoter was studied. The mice showed partial activation of paternal Ube3a, with decreased expression of Ube3a-ATS but not any imprinting defects in the Prader-Willi syndrome/Angelman syndrome region. A novel cell culture model was also generated with a transcriptional termination cassette inserted downstream of Ube3a on the paternal chromosome to reduce Ube3a-ATS transcription. In neuronally differentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells, paternal Ube3a was found to be expressed at a high level, comparable with that of the maternal allele. To further characterize the antisense RNA, a strand-specific microarray was performed. Ube3a-ATS was detectable across the entire locus of Ube3a and extended beyond the transcriptional start site of Ube3a. In summary, we conclude that Ube3a-ATS is an atypical RNAPII transcript that represses Ube3a on the paternal chromosome. These results suggest that the repression of human UBE3A-ATS may activate the expression of UBE3A from the paternal chromosome, providing a potential therapeutic strategy for patients with Angelman syndrome.