Different epigenetic alterations are associated with abnormal IGF2/Igf2 upregulation in neural tube defects.
ABSTRACT: The methylation status of DNA methylation regions (DMRs) of the imprinted gene IGF2/Igf2 is associated with neural tube defects (NTDs), which are caused by a failure of the neural tube to fold and close and are the second-most common birth defect; however, the characterization of the expression level of IGF2/Igf2 in neural tissue from human fetuses affected with NTDs remains elusive. More importantly, whether abnormal chromatin structure also influences IGF2/Igf2 expression in NTDs is unclear. Here, we investigated the transcriptional activity of IGF2/Igf2 in normal and NTD spinal cord tissues, the methylation status of different DMRs, and the chromatin structure of the promoter. Our data indicated that in NTD samples from both human fetuses and retinoic acid (RA)-treated mouse fetuses, the expression level of IGF2/Igf2 was upregulated 6.41-fold and 1.84-fold, respectively, compared to controls. H19 DMR1, but not IGF2 DMR0, was hypermethylated in human NTD samples. In NTD mice, h19 DMR1 was stable, whereas the chromatin structure around the promoter of Igf2 might be loosened, which was displayed by higher H3K4 acetylation and lower H3K27 trimethylation. Therefore, the data revealed that IGF2/Igf2 expression can be ectopically up-regulated by dual epigenetic factors in NTDs. In detail, the upregulation of IGF2/Igf2 is likely controlled by hypermethylation of H19 DMR1 in human NTDs, however, in acute external RA-induced NTD mice it is potentially determined by more open chromatin structure.
Project description:We studied the genomic instability and methylation status of the mismatch-repair (MMR) genes hMLH1 and hMSH2, and the imprinted genes H19/IGF2, in fetuses with neural tube defects (NTDs) to explore the pathogenesis of the disease. Microsatellite instability (MSI) was observed in 23 of 50 NTD patients. Five NTD patients showed high-degree MSI (MSI-H) and 18 showed low-degree MSI (MSI-L). The frequencies of mutated microsatellite loci were 3/50 (6%) for BatT-25, 10/50 (20%) for Bat-26, 3/50 (6%) for Bat34C4, 6/50 (12%) for D2S123, 4/50 (8%) for D2S119, and 3/50 (6%) for D3S1611. The promoter regions of the hMLH1 and hMSH2 genes were unmethylated in NTD patients, as determined by methylation-specific PCR. The hMLH1 and hMSH2 promoter methylation patterns, the methylation levels of H19 DMR1, and IGF2 DMR0 were detected by bisulfite sequencing PCR, sub-cloning, and sequencing. The hMSH2 promoter sequence was unmethylated, and the hMLH1 promoter showed a specific methylation pattern at two CpG sites. The methylation levels of H19 DMR1 in the NTD and control groups are 73.3% ± 15.9 and 58.3% ± 11.2, respectively. The methylation level of the NTD group was higher than that of the control group (Student's t-test, P<0.05). There is no significant difference in IGF2 DMR0 methylation level between the two groups. All of the results presented here suggest that genomic instability, the MMR system, and hyper-methylation of the H19 DMR1 may be correlated with the occurrence of NTDs.
Project description:The sexually dimorphic expression of H19/IGF2 is evolutionarily conserved. To investigate whether the expression of H19/IGF2 in the female porcine eye is sex-dependent, gene expression and methylation status were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP). We hypothesized that H19/IGF2 might exhibit a different DNA methylation status in the female eye. In order to evaluate our hypothesis, parthenogenetic (PA) cells were used for analysis by qPCR and BSP. Our results showed that H19 and IGF2 were over-expressed in the female eye compared with the male eye (3-fold and 2-fold, respectively). We observed a normal monoallelic methylation pattern for H19 differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Compared with H19 DMRs, IGF2 DMRs showed a different methylation pattern in the eye. Taken together, these results suggest that elevated expression of H19/IGF2 is caused by a specific chromatin structure that is regulated by the DNA methylation status of IGF2 DMRs in the female eye.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Porcine IGF2 and the H19 genes are imprinted. The IGF2 is paternally expressed, while the H19 gene is maternally expressed. Extensive studies in mice established a boundary model indicating that the H19 differentially methylated domain (DMD) controls, upon binding with the CTCF protein, reciprocal imprinting of the IGF2 and the H19 genes. IGF2 transcription is tissue and development specific involving the use of 4 promoters. In the liver of adult Large White boars IGF2 is expressed from both parental alleles, whereas in skeletal muscle and kidney tissues we observed variable relaxation of IGF2 imprinting. We hypothesized that IGF2 expression from both paternal alleles and relaxation of IGF2 imprinting is reflected in differences in DNA methylation patterns at the H19 DMD and IGF2 differentially methylated regions 1 and 2 (DMR1 and DMR2).<h4>Results</h4>Bisulfite sequencing analysis did not show any differences in DNA methylation at the three porcine CTCF binding sites in the H19 DMD between liver, muscle and kidney tissues of adult pigs. A DNA methylation analysis using methyl-sensitive restriction endonuclease SacII and 'hot-stop' PCR gave consistent results with those from the bisulfite sequencing analysis. We found that porcine H19 DMD is distinctly differentially methylated, at least for the region formally confirmed by two SNPs, in liver, skeletal muscle and kidney of foetal, newborn and adult pigs, independent of the combined imprinting status of all IGF2 expressed transcripts. DNA methylation at CpG sites in DMR1 of foetal liver was significantly lower than in the adult liver due to the presence of hypomethylated molecules. An allele specific analysis was performed for IGF2 DMR2 using a SNP in the IGF2 3'-UTR. The maternal IGF2 DMR2 of foetal and newborn liver revealed a higher DNA methylation content compared to the respective paternal allele.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results indicate that the IGF2 imprinting status is transcript-specific. Biallelic IGF2 expression in adult porcine liver and relaxation of IGF2 imprinting in porcine muscle were a common feature. These results were consistent with the IGF2 promoter P1 usage in adult liver and IGF2 promoter P2, P3 and P4 usages in muscle. The results showed further that bialellic IGF2 expression in liver and relaxation of imprinting in muscle and kidney were not associated with DNA methylation variation at and around at least one CTCF binding site in H19 DMD. The imprinting status in adult liver, muscle and kidney tissues were also not reflected in the methylation patterns of IGF2 DMRs 1 and 2.
Project description:It is thought that the H19 imprinting control region (ICR) directs the silencing of the maternally inherited Igf2 allele through a CTCF-dependent chromatin insulator. The ICR has been shown to interact physically with a silencer region in Igf2, differentially methylated region (DMR)1, but the role of CTCF in this chromatin loop and whether it restricts the physical access of distal enhancers to Igf2 is not known. We performed systematic chromosome conformation capture analyses in the Igf2/H19 region over >160 kb, identifying sequences that interact physically with the distal enhancers and the ICR. We found that, on the paternal chromosome, enhancers interact with the Igf2 promoters but that, on the maternal allele, this is prevented by CTCF binding within the H19 ICR. CTCF binding in the maternal ICR regulates its interaction with matrix attachment region (MAR)3 and DMR1 at Igf2, thus forming a tight loop around the maternal Igf2 locus, which may contribute to its silencing. Mutation of CTCF binding sites in the H19 ICR leads to loss of CTCF binding and de novo methylation of a CTCF target site within Igf2 DMR1, showing that CTCF can coordinate regional epigenetic marks. This systematic chromosome conformation capture analysis of an imprinting cluster reveals that CTCF has a critical role in the epigenetic regulation of higher-order chromatin structure and gene silencing over considerable distances in the genome.
Project description:A paternally methylated imprinting control region (ICR) directs allele-specific expression of the imprinted H19 and Igf2 genes. CTCF protein binding in the ICR is required in the maternal chromosome for insulating Igf2 from the shared enhancers, initiation of the H19 promoter transcription, maintaining DNA hypomethylation, and chromosome loop formation. Using novel quantitative allele-specific chromatin immunoprecipitation-single-nucleotide primer extension assays, we measured the chromatin composition along the H19/Igf2 imprinted domain in cells with engineered mutations at the four ICR-CTCF binding sites. Abolishing CTCF binding in the ICR reduced normally maternal allele-specific H3K9 acetylation and H3K4 methylation at the H19 ICR and promoter/gene body and maternal allele-specific H3K27 trimethylation at the Igf2 P2 promoter and Igf2 differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Paternal H3K27 trimethylation and macroH2A1 became biallelic in the mutant cells at the H19 promoter while paternal H3K9 acetylation and H3K4 methylation became biallelic at the Igf2 DMRs. We provide evidence that CTCF is the single major organizer of allele-specific chromatin composition in this domain. This finding has important implications: (i) for mechanisms of insulation since CTCF regulates chromatin at a distance, involving repression by H3K27 trimethylation at the Igf2 locus independently of repression by DNA hypermethylation; and (ii) for mechanisms of genomic imprinting since point mutations of CTCF binding sites cause domain-wide "paternalization" of the maternal allele's chromatin composition.
Project description:Histone modification has emerged as a very important mechanism regulating the transcriptional status of the genome. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is a peptide hormone controlling various cellular processes, including proliferation and apoptosis. H19 gene is closely linked to IGF2 gene, and IGF2 and H19 are reciprocally regulated imprinted genes. The epigenetic signature of H19 promoter (hypermethylation) on the paternal allele plays a vital role in allowing the expression of the paternal allele of IGF2.46 Our previous studies demonstrate that butyrate regulates the expression of IGF2 as well as genes encoding IGF Binding proteins. To obtain further understanding of histone modification and its regulatory potentials in controlling IGF2/H19 gene expression, we investigated the histone modification status of some key histones associated with the expression of IGF2/H19 genes in bovine cells using RNA-seq in combination with Chip-seq technology. A high-resolution map of the major chromatin modification at the IGF2/H19 locus induced by butyrate was constructed to illustrate the fundamental association of the chromatin modification landscape that may play a role in the activation of the IGF2 gene. High-definition epigenomic landscape mapping revealed that IGF2 and H19 have distinct chromatin modification patterns at their coding and promoter regions, such as TSSs and TTSs. Moreover, the correlation between the differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of IGF2/H19 locus and histone modification (acetylation and methylation) indicated that epigenetic signatures/markers of DNA methylation, histone methylation and histone acetylation were differentially distributed on the expressed IGF2 and silenced H19 genes. Our evidence also suggests that butyrate-induced regional changes of histone acetylation statusin the upstream regulation domain of H19 may be related to the reduced expression of H19 and strong activation of IGF2. Our results provided insights into the mechanism of butyrate-induced loss of imprinting (LOI) of IGF2 and regulation of gene expression by histone modification.
Project description:DNA methylation is usually associated with transcriptional silencing, but in the imprinted mouse Igf2 gene, the paternally expressed copy is methylated in two discrete differentially methylated regions (DMRs). DMR1 is located upstream of the fetal promoters and has been shown to be a methylation sensitive silencer. Here we examine the role of the intragenic DMR2 by gene targeting. In contrast to DMR1, deletion of DMR2 on the maternal allele did not lead to activation of the silent Igf2 gene. Deletion of a 54 bp methylated core region in DMR2 on the paternal allele, however, reduced Igf2 mRNA levels and was associated with fetal growth retardation. Nuclear run-on assays showed that the core region influenced transcription initiation, and luciferase reporter assays suggested that its methylation increases transcription. These results reveal a novel mechanism of gene expression whereby intragenic methylation can increase levels of transcription.
Project description:Genomic imprints-parental allele-specific DNA methylation marks at the differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of imprinted genes-are erased and reestablished in germ cells according to the individual's sex. Imprint establishment at paternally methylated germ line DMRs occurs in fetal male germ cells. In prospermatogonia, the two unmethylated alleles exhibit different rates of de novo methylation at the H19/Igf2 imprinting control region (ICR) depending on parental origin. We investigated the nature of this epigenetic memory using bisulfite sequencing and allele-specific ChIP-SNuPE assays. We found that the chromatin composition in fetal germ cells was biased at the ICR between the two alleles with the maternally inherited allele exhibiting more H3K4me3 and less H3K9me3 than the paternally inherited allele. We determined genetically that the chromatin bias, and also the delayed methylation establishment in the maternal allele, depended on functional CTCF insulator binding sites in the ICR. Our data suggest that, in primordial germ cells, maternally inherited allele-specific CTCF binding sets up allele-specific chromatin differences at the ICR. The erasure of these allele-specific chromatin marks is not complete before the process of de novo methylation imprint establishment begins. CTCF-dependent allele-specific chromatin composition imposes a maternal allele-specific delay on de novo methylation imprint establishment at the H19/Igf2 ICR in prospermatogonia.
Project description:BACKGROUND:H19 and IGF2 genes are imprinted and involved in regulating fetal and placental growth. The H19 differentially methylated region (DMR) is paternally methylated and maternally unmethylated and regulates the imprinted expression of H19 and IGF2. Epimutation at the H19-DMR in humans results in congenital growth disorders, Beckwith-Wiedemann and Silver-Russell syndromes, when erroneously its maternal allele becomes methylated and its paternal allele becomes unmethylated, respectively. Although H19 and IGF2 have been assessed for their involvement in pregnancy complications including fetal growth restriction (FGR) and pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH)/hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (HDP) intensively in the last decade, it is still not established whether epimutation at the H19-DMR in the placenta results in pathogenic conditions in pregnancy. We aimed to assess the frequency of H19-DMR epimutation and its effects on the allelic expression patterns of H19 and IGF2 genes among normal and abnormal pregnancy cases. RESULTS:We enrolled two independently collected sets of placenta samples from normal pregnancies as controls and common pregnancy complications, FGR and PIH (HDP). The first set consisted of 39 controls and 140 FGR and/or PIH cases, and the second set consisted of 29 controls and 62 cases. For these samples, we initially screened for DNA methylation changes at H19-DMR and IGF2-DMRs by combined bisulfite restriction analysis, and further analyzed cases with methylation changes for their allelic methylation and expression patterns. We identified one case each of FGR and PIH showing hypomethylation of H19-DMR and IGF2-DMRs only in the placenta, but not in cord blood, from the first case/control set. For the PIH case, we were able to determine the allelic expression pattern of H19 to be biallelically expressed and the H19/IGF2 expression ratio to be highly elevated compared to controls. We also identified a PIH case with hypomethylation at H19-DMR and IGF2-DMRs in the placenta from the second case/control set. CONCLUSIONS:Placental epimutation at H19-DMR was observed among common pregnancy complication cases at the frequency of 1.5% (3 out of 202 cases examined), but not in 68 normal pregnancy cases examined. Alteration of H19/IGF2 expression patterns due to hypomethylation of H19-DMR may have been involved in the pathogenesis of pregnancy complications in these cases.
Project description:Both the early environment and genetic variation may affect DNA methylation, which is one of the major molecular marks of the epigenome. The combined effect of these factors on a well-defined locus has not been studied to date. We evaluated the association of periconceptional exposure to the Dutch Famine of 1944-45, as an example of an early environmental exposure, and single nucleotide polymorphisms covering the genetic variation (tagging SNPs) with DNA methylation at the imprinted IGF2/H19 region, a model for an epigenetically regulated genomic region. DNA methylation was measured at five differentially methylated regions (DMRs) that regulate the imprinted status of the IGF2/H19 region. Small but consistent differences in DNA methylation were observed comparing 60 individuals with periconceptional famine exposure with unexposed same-sex siblings at all IGF2 DMRs (P(BH)<0.05 after adjustment for multiple testing), but not at the H19 DMR. IGF2 DMR0 methylation was associated with IGF2 SNP rs2239681 (P(BH) = 0.027) and INS promoter methylation with INS SNPs, including rs689, which tags the INS VNTR, suggesting a mechanism for the reported effect of the VNTR on INS expression (P(BH) = 3.4 × 10(-3)). Prenatal famine and genetic variation showed similar associations with IGF2/H19 methylation and their contributions were additive. They were small in absolute terms (<3%), but on average 0.5 standard deviations relative to the variation in the population. Our analyses suggest that environmental and genetic factors could have independent and additive similarly sized effects on DNA methylation at the same regulatory site.