ABSTRACT: The SNORD116 small nucleolar RNA locus (SNORD116@) is contained within the long noncoding RNA host gene SNHG14 on human chromosome 15q11-q13. The SNORD116 locus is a cluster of 28 or more small nucleolar (sno) RNAs; C/D box (SNORDs). Individual RNAs within the cluster are tandem, highly similar sequences, referred to as SNORD116-1, SNORD116-2, etc., with the entire set referred to as SNORD116@. There are also related SNORD116 loci on other chromosomes, and these additional loci are conserved among primates. Inherited chromosomal 15q11-q13 deletions, encompassing the SNORD116@ locus, are causative for the paternally-inherited/maternally-imprinted genetic condition, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Using in silico tools, along with molecular-based and sequenced-based confirmation, phylogenetic analysis of the SNORD116@ locus was performed. The consensus sequence for the SNORD116@ snoRNAs from various species was determined both for all the SNORD116 snoRNAs, as well as those grouped using sequence and location according to a human grouping convention. The implications of these findings are put in perspective for studying SNORD116 in patients with inherited Prader-Willi syndrome, as well as model organisms.
Project description:Imprinting, non-coding RNA and chromatin organization are modes of epigenetic regulation that modulate gene expression and are necessary for mammalian neurodevelopment. The only two known mammalian clusters of genes encoding small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), SNRPN through UBE3A(15q11-q13/7qC) and GTL2(14q32.2/12qF1), are neuronally expressed, localized to imprinted loci and involved in at least five neurodevelopmental disorders. Deficiency of the paternal 15q11-q13 snoRNA HBII-85 locus is necessary to cause the neurodevelopmental disorder Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Here we show epigenetically regulated chromatin decondensation at snoRNA clusters in human and mouse brain. An 8-fold allele-specific decondensation of snoRNA chromatin was developmentally regulated specifically in maturing neurons, correlating with HBII-85 nucleolar accumulation and increased nucleolar size. Reciprocal mouse models revealed a genetic and epigenetic requirement of the 35 kb imprinting center (IC) at the Snrpn-Ube3a locus for transcriptionally regulated chromatin decondensation. PWS human brain and IC deletion mouse Purkinje neurons showed significantly decreased nucleolar size, demonstrating the essential role of the 15q11-q13 HBII-85 locus in neuronal nucleolar maturation. These results are relevant to understanding the molecular pathogenesis of multiple human neurodevelopmental disorders, including PWS and some causes of autism.
Project description:Imprinted small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are only found in eutherian genomes and closely related to brain functions. A complex human neurological disease, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), is primarily attributed to the deletion of imprinted snoRNAs in chromosome 15q11-q13. Here we investigated the snoRNA repertoires in the PWS locus of 12 mammalian genomes and their evolution processes. A total of 613 imprinted snoRNAs were identified in the PWS homologous loci and the gene number was highly variable across lineages, with a peak in Euarchontoglires. Lineage-specific gene gain and loss events account for most extant genes of the HBII-52 (SNORD115) and the HBII-85 (SNORD116) gene family, and remarkable high gene-birth rates were observed in the primates and the rodents. Meanwhile, rapid sequence substitution occurred only in imprinted snoRNA genes, rather than their flanking sequences or the protein-coding genes located in the same imprinted locus. Strong selective constraints on the functional elements of these imprinted snoRNAs further suggest that they are subjected to birth-and-death evolution. Our data suggest that the regulatory role of HBII-52 on 5-HT2CR pre-mRNA might originate in the Euarchontoglires through adaptive process. We propose that the rapid evolution of PWS-related imprinted snoRNAs has contributed to the neural development of Euarchontoglires.
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:The loss of two gene clusters encoding small nucleolar RNAs, SNORD115 and SNORD116 contribute to Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), the most common syndromic form of obesity in humans. SNORD115 and SNORD116 are considered to be orphan C/D box snoRNAs (SNORDs) as they do not target rRNAs or snRNAs. SNORD115 exhibits sequence complementarity towards the serotonin receptor 2C, but SNORD116 shows no extended complementarities to known RNAs. To identify molecular targets, we performed genome-wide array analysis after overexpressing SNORD115 and SNORD116 in HEK 293T cells, either alone or together. We found that SNORD116 changes the expression of over 200 genes. SNORD116 mainly changed mRNA expression levels. Surprisingly, we found that SNORD115 changes SNORD116's influence on gene expression. In similar experiments, we compared gene expression in post-mortem hypothalamus between individuals with PWS and aged-matched controls. The synopsis of these experiments resulted in 23 genes whose expression levels were influenced by SNORD116. Together our results indicate that SNORD115 and SNORD116 influence expression levels of multiple genes and modify each other activity.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a disorder of genomic imprinting, is characterized by neonatal hypotonia, hypogonadism, small hands and feet, hyperphagia and obesity in adulthood. PWS results from the loss of paternal copies of the cluster of SNORD116 C/D box snoRNAs and their host transcript, 116HG, on human chromosome 15q11-q13. We have investigated the mechanism of repression of the maternal SNORD116 cluster and 116HG. Here, we report that the zinc-finger protein ZNF274, in association with the histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methyltransferase SETDB1, is part of a complex that binds to the silent maternal but not the active paternal alleles. Knockdown of SETDB1 in PWS-specific induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) causes a decrease in the accumulation of H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) at 116HG and corresponding accumulation of the active chromatin mark histone H3 lysine 4 dimethylation (H3K4me2). We also show that upon knockdown of SETDB1 in PWS-specific iPSCs, expression of maternally silenced 116HG RNA is partially restored. SETDB1 knockdown in PWS iPSCs also disrupts DNA methylation at the PWS-IC where a decrease in 5-methylcytosine is observed in association with a concomitant increase in 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. This observation suggests that the ZNF274/SETDB1 complex bound to the SNORD116 cluster may protect the PWS-IC from DNA demethylation during early development. Our findings reveal novel epigenetic mechanisms that function to repress the maternal 15q11-q13 region.
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:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurogenetic disorder caused by loss of paternally expressed genes on chromosome 15q11-q13. The PWS-critical region (PWScr) contains an array of non-protein coding IPW-A exons hosting intronic SNORD116 snoRNA genes. Deletion of PWScr is associated with PWS in humans and growth retardation in mice exhibiting ~15% postnatal lethality in C57BL/6 background. Here we analysed a knock-in mouse containing a 5'HPRT-LoxP-Neo(R) cassette (5'LoxP) inserted upstream of the PWScr. When the insertion was inherited maternally in a paternal PWScr-deletion mouse model (PWScr(p-/m5'LoxP)), we observed compensation of growth retardation and postnatal lethality. Genomic methylation pattern and expression of protein-coding genes remained unaltered at the PWS-locus of PWScr(p-/m5'LoxP) mice. Interestingly, ubiquitous Snord116 and IPW-A exon transcription from the originally silent maternal chromosome was detected. In situ hybridization indicated that PWScr(p-/m5'LoxP) mice expressed Snord116 in brain areas similar to wild type animals. Our results suggest that the lack of PWScr RNA expression in certain brain areas could be a primary cause of the growth retardation phenotype in mice. We propose that activation of disease-associated genes on imprinted regions could lead to general therapeutic strategies in associated diseases.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a genetic disorder of obesity, intellectual disability and sleep abnormalities, is caused by loss of non-coding RNAs on paternal chromosome 15q11-q13. The imprinted minimal PWS locus encompasses a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcript processed into multiple SNORD116 small nucleolar RNAs and the spliced exons of the host gene, 116HG. However, both the molecular function and the disease relevance of the spliced lncRNA 116HG are unknown. Here, we show that 116HG forms a subnuclear RNA cloud that co-purifies with the transcriptional activator RBBP5 and active metabolic genes, remains tethered to the site of its transcription and increases in size in post-natal neurons and during sleep. Snord116del mice lacking 116HG exhibited increased energy expenditure corresponding to the dysregulation of diurnally expressed Mtor and circadian genes Clock, Cry1 and Per2. These combined genomic and metabolic analyses demonstrate that 116HG regulates the diurnal energy expenditure of the brain. These novel molecular insights into the energy imbalance in PWS should lead to improved therapies and understanding of lncRNA roles in complex neurodevelopmental and metabolic disorders.
Project description:Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), an imprinted neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by metabolic, sleep and neuropsychiatric features, is caused by the loss of paternal SNORD116, containing only non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). The primary SNORD116 transcript is processed into small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), which localize to nucleoli, and their spliced host gene 116HG, which is retained at its site of transcription. While functional complementation of the SNORD116 ncRNAs is a desirable goal for treating PWS, the mechanistic requirements of SNORD116 RNA processing are poorly understood. Here we developed and tested a novel transgenic mouse which ubiquitously expresses Snord116 on both a wild-type and a Snord116 paternal deletion (Snord116+/-) background. Interestingly, while the Snord116 transgene was ubiquitously expressed in multiple tissues, splicing of the transgene and production of snoRNAs was limited to brain tissues. Knockdown of Rbfox3, encoding neuron-specific splicing factor neuronal nuclei (NeuN) in Snord116+/--derived neurons, reduced splicing of the transgene in neurons. RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization for 116HG revealed a single significantly larger signal in transgenic mice, demonstrating colocalization of transgenic and endogenous 116HG RNAs. Similarly, significantly increased snoRNA levels were detected in transgenic neuronal nucleoli, indicating that transgenic Snord116 snoRNAs were effectively processed and localized. In contrast, neither transgenic 116HG nor snoRNAs were detectable in either non-neuronal tissues or Snord116+/- neurons. Together, these results demonstrate that exogenous expression and neuron-specific splicing of the Snord116 locus are insufficient to rescue the genetic deficiency of Snord116 paternal deletion. Elucidating the mechanisms regulating Snord116 processing and localization is essential to develop effective gene replacement therapies for PWS.
Project description:Obesity is accompanied by hyperphagia in several classical genetic obesity-related syndromes that are rare, including Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Alström syndrome (ALMS). We compared coding and noncoding gene expression in adult males with PWS, ALMS, and nonsyndromic obesity relative to nonobese males using readily available lymphoblastoid cells to identify disease-specific molecular patterns and disturbed mechanisms in obesity. We found 231 genes upregulated in ALMS compared with nonobese males, but no genes were found to be upregulated in obese or PWS males and 124 genes were downregulated in ALMS. The metallothionein gene (MT1X) was significantly downregulated in ALMS, in common with obese males. Only the complex SNRPN locus was disturbed (downregulated) in PWS along with several downregulated small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) in the 15q11-q13 region (SNORD116, SNORD109B, SNORD109A, SNORD107). Eleven upregulated and ten downregulated snoRNAs targeting multiple genes impacting rRNA processing, developmental pathways, and associated diseases were found in ALMS. Fifty-two miRNAs associated with multiple, overlapping gene expression disturbances were upregulated in ALMS, and four were shared with obese males but not PWS males. For example, seven passenger strand microRNAs (miRNAs) (miR-93*, miR-373*, miR-29b-2*, miR-30c-1*, miR27a*, miR27b*, and miR-149*) were disturbed in association with six separate downregulated target genes (CD68, FAM102A, MXI1, MYO1D, TP53INP1, and ZRANB1). Cell cycle (eg, PPP3CA), transcription (eg, POLE2), and development may be impacted by upregulated genes in ALMS, while downregulated genes were found to be involved with metabolic processes (eg, FABP3), immune responses (eg, IL32), and cell signaling (eg, IL1B). The high number of gene and noncoding RNA disturbances in ALMS contrast with observations in PWS and males with nonsyndromic obesity and may reflect the progressing multiorgan pathology of the ALMS disease process.