Prader-Willi locus Snord116 RNA processing requires an active endogenous allele and neuron-specific splicing by Rbfox3/NeuN.
ABSTRACT: 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: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), 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: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: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:We describe the discovery of sno-lncRNAs, a class of nuclear-enriched intron-derived long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are processed on both ends by the snoRNA machinery. During exonucleolytic trimming, the sequences between the snoRNAs are not degraded, leading to the accumulation of lncRNAs flanked by snoRNA sequences but lacking 5' caps and 3' poly(A) tails. Such RNAs are widely expressed in cells and tissues and can be produced by either box C/D or box H/ACA snoRNAs. Importantly, the genomic region encoding one abundant class of sno-lncRNAs (15q11-q13) is specifically deleted in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). The PWS region sno-lncRNAs do not colocalize with nucleoli or Cajal bodies, but rather accumulate near their sites of synthesis. These sno-lncRNAs associate strongly with Fox family splicing regulators and alter patterns of splicing. These results thus implicate a previously unannotated class of lncRNAs in the molecular pathogenesis of PWS. We have used deep sequencing to explore the gene expression from poly(A)+ RNAs in embryonal carcinoma (EC) line PA-1 cells treated with scrambled or specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ASOs).
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: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: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: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 the predominant genetic cause of obesity in humans. Recent clinical reports have suggested that micro-deletion of the Snord116 gene cluster can lead to PWS, however, the extent of the contributions of the encoded snoRNAs is unknown. Here we show that mice lacking Snord116 globally have low birth weight, increased body weight gain, energy expenditure and hyperphagia. Consistent with this, microarray analysis of hypothalamic gene expression revealed a significant alteration in feeding related pathways that was also confirmed by in situ hybridisation. Importantly, selective deletion of Snord116 only from NPY expressing neurons mimics almost exactly the global deletion phenotype including the persistent low birth weight, increased body weight gain in early adulthood, increased energy expenditure and hyperphagia. Mechanistically, the lack of Snord116 in NPY neurons leads to the upregulation of NPY mRNA consistent with the hyperphagic phenotype and suggests a critical role of Snord116 in the control of NPY neuronal functions that might be dysregulated in PWS.