BCL11A Haploinsufficiency Causes an Intellectual Disability Syndrome and Dysregulates Transcription.
ABSTRACT: Intellectual disability (ID) is a common condition with considerable genetic heterogeneity. Next-generation sequencing of large cohorts has identified an increasing number of genes implicated in ID, but their roles in neurodevelopment remain largely unexplored. Here we report an ID syndrome caused by de novo heterozygous missense, nonsense, and frameshift mutations in BCL11A, encoding a transcription factor that is a putative member of the BAF swi/snf chromatin-remodeling complex. Using a comprehensive integrated approach to ID disease modeling, involving human cellular analyses coupled to mouse behavioral, neuroanatomical, and molecular phenotyping, we provide multiple lines of functional evidence for phenotypic effects. The etiological missense variants cluster in the amino-terminal region of human BCL11A, and we demonstrate that they all disrupt its localization, dimerization, and transcriptional regulatory activity, consistent with a loss of function. We show that Bcl11a haploinsufficiency in mice causes impaired cognition, abnormal social behavior, and microcephaly in accordance with the human phenotype. Furthermore, we identify shared aberrant transcriptional profiles in the cortex and hippocampus of these mouse models. Thus, our work implicates BCL11A haploinsufficiency in neurodevelopmental disorders and defines additional targets regulated by this gene, with broad relevance for our understanding of ID and related syndromes.
Project description:Chromosome 2p15p16.1 deletion syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by intellectual disability (ID), neurodevelopmental delay, language delay, growth retardation, microcephaly, structural brain abnormalities, and dysmorphic features. More than 30 patients with 2p15p16.1 microdeletion syndrome have been reported in the literature.Molecular analysis was performed using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH). Clinical characteristics and brain magnetic resonance imaging features of these patients were also reviewed.We identified four patients with ID, neurodevelopmental delay, brain malformations, and dysmorphic features; two patients with 2p15p16.1 deletions (3.24 Mb, 5.04 Mb), one patient with 2p16.1 deletion (1.12 Mb), and one patient with 2p14p16.1 deletion (5.12 Mb). Three patients with 2p15p16.1 deletions or 2p16.1 deletions encompassing BCL11A,PAPOLG, and REL showed hypoplasia of the pons and cerebellum. The patient with 2p14p16.1 deletion, which did not include three genes showed normal size and shape of the cerebellar hemispheres and pons.The zinc finger transcription factor BCL11A associated with the BAF chromatin remodeling complex has been identified to be critical for neural development and BCL11A haploinsufficiency is closely related to cerebellar abnormalities.
Project description:Reactivation of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) in adults ameliorates the severity of the common ?-globin disorders. The transcription factor BCL11A is a critical modulator of hemoglobin switching and HbF silencing, yet the molecular mechanism through which BCL11A coordinates the developmental switch is incompletely understood. Particularly, the identities of BCL11A cooperating protein complexes and their roles in HbF expression and erythroid development remain largely unknown. Here we determine the interacting partner proteins of BCL11A in erythroid cells by a proteomic screen. BCL11A is found within multiprotein complexes consisting of erythroid transcription factors, transcriptional corepressors, and chromatin-modifying enzymes. We show that the lysine-specific demethylase 1 and repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor corepressor 1 (LSD1/CoREST) histone demethylase complex interacts with BCL11A and is required for full developmental silencing of mouse embryonic ?-like globin genes and human ?-globin genes in adult erythroid cells in vivo. In addition, LSD1 is essential for normal erythroid development. Furthermore, the DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) is identified as a BCL11A-associated protein in the proteomic screen. DNMT1 is required to maintain HbF silencing in primary human adult erythroid cells. DNMT1 haploinsufficiency combined with BCL11A deficiency further enhances ?-globin expression in adult animals. Our findings provide important insights into the mechanistic roles of BCL11A in HbF silencing and clues for therapeutic targeting of BCL11A in ?-hemoglobinopathies.
Project description:Yin and yang 1 (YY1) is a well-known zinc-finger transcription factor with crucial roles in normal development and malignancy. YY1 acts both as a repressor and as an activator of gene expression. We have identified 23 individuals with de novo mutations or deletions of YY1 and phenotypic features that define a syndrome of cognitive impairment, behavioral alterations, intrauterine growth restriction, feeding problems, and various congenital malformations. Our combined clinical and molecular data define "YY1 syndrome" as a haploinsufficiency syndrome. Through immunoprecipitation of YY1-bound chromatin from affected individuals' cells with antibodies recognizing both ends of the protein, we show that YY1 deletions and missense mutations lead to a global loss of YY1 binding with a preferential retention at high-occupancy sites. Finally, we uncover a widespread loss of H3K27 acetylation in particular on the YY1-bound enhancers, underscoring a crucial role for YY1 in enhancer regulation. Collectively, these results define a clinical syndrome caused by haploinsufficiency of YY1 through dysregulation of key transcriptional regulators.
Project description:A chromosomal balanced translocation disrupting the MED13L (Mediator complex subunit13-like) gene, encoding a subunit of the Mediator complex, was previously associated with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) and intellectual disability (ID), and led to the identification of missense mutations in three patients with isolated TGA. Recently, a homozygous missense mutation in MED13L was found in two siblings with non-syndromic ID from a consanguineous family. Here, we describe for the first time, three patients with copy number changes affecting MED13L and delineate a recognizable MED13L haploinsufficiency syndrome. Using high resolution molecular karyotyping, we identified two intragenic de novo frameshift deletions, likely resulting in haploinsufficiency, in two patients with a similar phenotype of hypotonia, moderate ID, conotruncal heart defect and facial anomalies. In both, Sanger sequencing of MED13L did not reveal any pathogenic mutation and exome sequencing in one patient showed no evidence for a non-allelic second hit. A further patient with hypotonia, learning difficulties and perimembranous VSD showed a 1 Mb de novo triplication in 12q24.2, including MED13L and MAP1LC3B2. Our findings show that MED13L haploinsufficiency in contrast to the previously observed missense mutations cause a distinct syndromic phenotype. Additionally, a MED13L copy number gain results in a milder phenotype. The clinical features suggesting a neurocristopathy may be explained by animal model studies indicating involvement of the Mediator complex subunit 13 in neural crest induction.
Project description:Genotype-first combined with reverse phenotyping has shown to be a powerful tool in human genetics, especially in the era of next generation sequencing. This combines the identification of individuals with mutations in the same gene and linking these to consistent (endo)phenotypes to establish disease causality. We have performed a MIP (molecular inversion probe)-based targeted re-sequencing study in 3,275 individuals with intellectual disability (ID) to facilitate a genotype-first approach for 24 genes previously implicated in ID.Combining our data with data from a publicly available database, we confirmed 11 of these 24 genes to be relevant for ID. Amongst these, PHIP was shown to have an enrichment of disruptive mutations in the individuals with ID (5 out of 3,275). Through international collaboration, we identified a total of 23 individuals with PHIP mutations and elucidated the associated phenotype. Remarkably, all 23 individuals had developmental delay/ID and the majority were overweight or obese. Other features comprised behavioral problems (hyperactivity, aggression, features of autism and/or mood disorder) and dysmorphisms (full eyebrows and/or synophrys, upturned nose, large ears and tapering fingers). Interestingly, PHIP encodes two protein-isoforms, PHIP/DCAF14 and NDRP, each involved in neurodevelopmental processes, including E3 ubiquitination and neuronal differentiation. Detailed genotype-phenotype analysis points towards haploinsufficiency of PHIP/DCAF14, and not NDRP, as the underlying cause of the phenotype.Thus, we demonstrated the use of large scale re-sequencing by MIPs, followed by reverse phenotyping, as a constructive approach to verify candidate disease genes and identify novel syndromes, highlighted by PHIP haploinsufficiency causing an ID-overweight syndrome.
Project description:Intellectual disability (ID) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous common condition that remains etiologically unresolved in the majority of cases. Although several hundred diseased genes have been identified in X-linked, autosomal-recessive, or syndromic types of ID, the establishment of an etiological basis remains a difficult task in unspecific, sporadic cases. Just recently, de novo mutations in SYNGAP1, STXBP1, MEF2C, and GRIN2B were reported as relatively common causes of ID in such individuals. On the basis of a patient with severe ID and a 2.5 Mb microdeletion including ARID1B in chromosomal region 6q25, we performed mutational analysis in 887 unselected patients with unexplained ID. In this cohort, we found eight (0.9%) additional de novo nonsense or frameshift mutations predicted to cause haploinsufficiency. Our findings indicate that haploinsufficiency of ARID1B, a member of the SWI/SNF-A chromatin-remodeling complex, is a common cause of ID, and they add to the growing evidence that chromatin-remodeling defects are an important contributor to neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors play an important role in normal development of multiple organs. Three NFI family members are highly expressed in the brain, and deletions or sequence variants in two of these, NFIA and NFIX, have been associated with intellectual disability (ID) and brain malformations. NFIB, however, has not previously been implicated in human disease. Here, we present a cohort of 18 individuals with mild ID and behavioral issues who are haploinsufficient for NFIB. Ten individuals harbored overlapping microdeletions of the chromosomal 9p23-p22.2 region, ranging in size from 225 kb to 4.3 Mb. Five additional subjects had point sequence variations creating a premature termination codon, and three subjects harbored single-nucleotide variations resulting in an inactive protein as determined using an in vitro reporter assay. All individuals presented with additional variable neurodevelopmental phenotypes, including muscular hypotonia, motor and speech delay, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral abnormalities. While structural brain anomalies, including dysgenesis of corpus callosum, were variable, individuals most frequently presented with macrocephaly. To determine whether macrocephaly could be a functional consequence of NFIB disruption, we analyzed a cortex-specific Nfib conditional knockout mouse model, which is postnatally viable. Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging and histology, we demonstrate that Nfib conditional knockout mice have enlargement of the cerebral cortex but preservation of overall brain structure and interhemispheric connectivity. Based on our findings, we propose that haploinsufficiency of NFIB causes ID with macrocephaly.
Project description:Chromosomal aberrations of BCL11A at 2p16.1 have been reported in a variety of B-cell malignancies and its deficiency in mice leads to a profound block in B-cell development.Alternative pre-mRNA splicing of BCL11A produces multiple isoforms sharing a common N-terminus. The most abundant isoform we have identified in human lymphoid samples is BCL11A-XL, the longest transcript produced at this locus, and here we report the conservation of this major isoform and its functional characterization. We show that BCL11A-XL is a DNA-sequence-specific transcriptional repressor that associates with itself and with other BCL11A isoforms, as well as with the BCL6 proto-oncogene. Western blot data for BCL11A-XL expression coupled with data previously published for BCL6 indicates that these genes are expressed abundantly in germinal-center-derived B cells but that expression is extinguished upon terminal differentiation to the plasma cell stage. Although BCL11A-XL/BCL6 interaction can modulate BCL6 DNA binding in vitro, their heteromeric association does not alter the homomeric transcriptional properties of either on model reporter activity. BCL11A-XL partitions into the nuclear matrix and colocalizes with BCL6 in nuclear paraspeckles.We propose that the conserved N-terminus of BCL11A defines a superfamily of C2HC zinc-finger transcription factors involved in hematopoietic malignancies.
Project description:By using exome sequencing and a gene matching approach, we identified de novo and inherited pathogenic variants in KDM3B in 14 unrelated individuals and three affected parents with varying degrees of intellectual disability (ID) or developmental delay (DD) and short stature. The individuals share additional phenotypic features that include feeding difficulties in infancy, joint hypermobility, and characteristic facial features such as a wide mouth, a pointed chin, long ears, and a low columella. Notably, two individuals developed cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma, in childhood. KDM3B encodes for a histone demethylase and is involved in H3K9 demethylation, a crucial part of chromatin modification required for transcriptional regulation. We identified missense and truncating variants, suggesting that KDM3B haploinsufficiency is the underlying mechanism for this syndrome. By using a hybrid facial-recognition model, we show that individuals with a pathogenic variant in KDM3B have a facial gestalt, and that they show significant facial similarity compared to control individuals with ID. In conclusion, pathogenic variants in KDM3B cause a syndrome characterized by ID, short stature, and facial dysmorphism.