Meg3-DMR, not the Meg3 gene, regulates imprinting of the Dlk1-Dio3 locus.
ABSTRACT: The imprinted delta like 1 homolog (DLK1) - thyroxine deiodinase type III (DIO3) locus regulates development and growth. Its imprinting regulation involves two differentially methylated regions (DMRs), intergenic-DMR (IG-DMR) and maternally expressed gene 3-DMR (Meg3-DMR). In mice, a maternal deletion of the IG-DMR leads to LOI in the locus, proving that the IG-DMR is a cis-acting imprinting control region of the locus. However, the Meg3-DMR overlaps with the promoter, exon 1 and intron 1 of the Meg3 gene. Because deletion of the Meg3-DMR inactivates the Meg3 gene, their roles in imprinting regulation of Meg3-DMR mice is unknown. Therefore, we generated two mouse models: Meg3?(1-4) and Meg3?(2-4), respectively targeting exons 1-4 and exons 2-4 of the Meg3 gene. A maternal deletion of Meg3?(1-4) caused embryonic death and LOI in both embryos and placentas, but did not affect methylation status of the IG-DMR. In contrast, mice carrying a maternal deletion of Meg3?(2-4) were born normally and did not have LOI. These data indicate that it is the Meg3-DMR, not the Meg3 gene, which regulates imprinting of the Dlk1-Dio3 locus.
Project description:Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic regulation that leads to gene expression in a parent-of-origin specific manner. AFF3, the central component of the Super Elongation Complex-like 3 (SEC-L3), is enriched at both the intergenic-differentially methylated region (IG-DMR) and the Meg3 enhancer within the imprinted Dlk1-Dio3 locus to regulate the allele-specific gene expression in this locus. The localization of AFF3 to IG-DMR requires ZFP57. However, how AFF3 functions at the Meg3 enhancer in maintaining allele-specific gene expression remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that AFF3 is associated with the Krüppel-like zinc finger protein ZFP281 in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. ZFP281 recruits AFF3 to the Meg3 enhancer within the imprinted Dlk1-Dio3 locus, thus regulating the allele-specific expression of the Meg3 polycistron. Our genome-wide analyses further identify ZFP281 as a critical factor generally associating with AFF3 at enhancers and functioning together with AFF3 in regulating the expression of a subset of genes. Our study suggests that different zinc finger proteins can recruit AFF3 to different regulatory elements and differentially regulate the function of AFF3 in a context-dependent manner.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The human chromosome 14q32.2 imprinted region harbors the primary MEG3/DLK1:IG-differentially methylated region (DMR) and secondary MEG3:TSS-DMR. The MEG3:TSS-DMR can remain unmethylated only in the presence of unmethylated MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR in somatic tissues, but not in the placenta, because of a hierarchical regulation of the methylation pattern between the two DMRs. METHODS:We performed molecular studies in a 4-year-old Japanese girl with Temple syndrome (TS14). RESULTS:Pyrosequencing analysis showed extremely low methylation levels of five CpGs at the MEG3:TSS-DMR and grossly normal methylation levels of four CpGs at the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR in leukocytes. HumanMethylation450 BeadChip confirmed marked hypomethylation of the MEG3:TSS-DMR and revealed multilocus imprinting disturbance (MLID) including mild hypomethylation of the H19/IGF2:IG-DMR and mild hypermethylation of the GNAS A/B:TSS-DMR in leukocytes. Bisulfite sequencing showed markedly hypomethylated CpGs at the MEG3:TSS-DMR and irregularly and non-differentially methylated CpGs at the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR in leukocytes and apparently normal methylation patterns of the two DMRs in the placenta. Maternal uniparental disomy 14 and a deletion involving this imprinted region were excluded. CONCLUSIONS:Such a methylation pattern of the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR has not been reported in patients with TS14. It may be possible that a certain degree of irregular hypomethylation at the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR has prevented methylation of the MEG3:TSS-DMR in somatic tissues and that a hypermethylation type MLID has occurred at the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR to yield the apparently normal methylation pattern in the placenta.
Project description:We report the DNA-methylation profiling of 10 regions selected from the DLK1-DIO3 domain on chromosome 14q32 in BM/PB samples from patients with acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), other subclasses of acute myeloid leukaemia and healthy donors, using high-throughput amplicon bisulfite sequencing with Roche 454 technology. We identify monoallelic-hypermethylation in APL only at the differentially methylated region (DMR) located upstream from the MEG3 gene (MEG3-DMR), whereas no changes in the DNA methylation profile were detected at the imprinting control region of the domain (IG-DMR) among the samples analysed. We show that the expression profile of 6 miRNAs clustered downstream from the MEG3-DMR correlates with the methylation profile at both DMRs. We demonstrate that miRNAs expression negatively correlates with DNA-methylation at the IG-DMR and MEG3 gene-body, whereas the correlation was positive for the CpGs located in the promoter of MEG3, including the binding sites for the insulator CTCF. We propose a loss of imprinting at the CTCF binding sites in patients with APL. These results are consistent with the previously reported DLK1-DIO3 miRNAs overexpression in APL, indicating a possible involvement of these ncRNAs in the pathogenesis of the disease. Investigation of the epigenetic regulation of the miRNAs clustered in 14q32 by next-generation sequencing
Project description:Deregulation of imprinted genes is an important molecular mechanism contributing to the development of cancer in humans. However, knowledge about imprinting defects in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the third leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, is still limited. Therefore, a systematic meta-analysis of the expression of 223 imprinted loci in human HCC was initiated. This screen revealed that the DLK1-MEG3 locus is frequently deregulated in HCC. Deregulation of DLK1 and MEG3 expression accompanied by extensive aberrations in DNA methylation could be confirmed experimentally in an independent series of human HCC (n = 40) in more than 80% of cases. Loss of methylation at the DLK1-MEG3 locus correlates linearly with global loss of DNA methylation in HCC (r(2) = 0.63, p<0.0001). Inhibition of DNMT1 in HCC cells using siRNA led to a reduction in MEG3-DMR methylation and concomitant increase in MEG3 RNA expression. Allele-specific expression analysis identified loss of imprinting in 10 out of 31 informative samples (32%), rendering it one of the most frequent molecular defects in human HCC. In 2 cases unequivocal gain of bi-allelic expression accompanied by substantial loss of methylation at the IG-DMR could be demonstrated. In 8 cases the tumour cells displayed allelic switching by mono-allelic expression of the normally imprinted allele. Allelic switching was accompanied by gains or losses of DNA methylation primarily at IG-DMR1. Analysis of 10 hepatocellular adenomas (HCA) and 5 cases of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) confirmed that this epigenetic instability is specifically associated with the process of malignant transformation and not linked to increased proliferation per se. This widespread imprint instability in human HCC has to be considered in order to minimize unwanted side-effects of therapeutic approaches targeting the DNA methylation machinery. It might also serve in the future as predictive biomarker and for monitoring response to epigenetic therapy.
Project description:Human chromosome 14q32.2 harbors the germline-derived primary DLK1-MEG3 intergenic differentially methylated region (IG-DMR) and the postfertilization-derived secondary MEG3-DMR, together with multiple imprinted genes. Although previous studies in cases with microdeletions and epimutations affecting both DMRs and paternal/maternal uniparental disomy 14-like phenotypes argue for a critical regulatory function of the two DMRs for the 14q32.2 imprinted region, the precise role of the individual DMR remains to be clarified. We studied an infant with upd(14)pat body and placental phenotypes and a heterozygous microdeletion involving the IG-DMR alone (patient 1) and a neonate with upd(14)pat body, but no placental phenotype and a heterozygous microdeletion involving the MEG3-DMR alone (patient 2). The results generated from the analysis of these two patients imply that the IG-DMR and the MEG3-DMR function as imprinting control centers in the placenta and the body, respectively, with a hierarchical interaction for the methylation pattern in the body governed by the IG-DMR. To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating an essential long-range imprinting regulatory function for the secondary DMR.
Project description:Genomic imprinting at the Delta-like 1 (Dlk1)-Maternally expressed gene 3 (Meg3) locus is regulated by the Meg3 differentially methylated region (DMR), but the mechanism by which this DMR acts is unknown. The goal of this study was to analyze the Meg3 DMR during imprinting establishment and maintenance for the presence of histone modifications and trans-acting DNA binding proteins using chromatin immunoprecipitation. In embryonic stem (ES) cells, where Meg3 is biallelically expressed, the DMR showed variable DNA methylation, with biallelic methylation at one region but paternal allele-specific methylation at another. All histone modifications detected at the Meg3 DMR of ES cells were biallelic. In embryonic day 12.5 (e12.5) embryos, where Meg3 is maternally expressed, the paternal Meg3 DMR was methylated, and activating histone modifications were specific to the maternal DMR. DNA-binding proteins that represent potential regulatory factors were identified in both ES cells and embryos.
Project description:MEG3 is an imprinted gene encoding a novel noncoding RNA that suppresses tumor cell growth. Although highly expressed in the normal human pituitary, it is unknown which of the normal pituitary cell types and pituitary tumors express MEG3.Our objectives were 1) to investigate cell-type- and tumor-type-specific expression of MEG3 in the human pituitary and 2) to investigate whether methylation in the intergenic differentially methylated region (IG-DMR) at the DLK1/MEG3 locus is involved in the loss of MEG3 expression in tumors.RT-PCR, quantitative RT-PCR, Northern blot, and a combination of in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence were used to determine the cell-type- and tumor-type-specific MEG3 expression. Bisulfite treatment and PCR sequencing of genomic DNA were used to measure the CpG methylation status in the normal and tumor tissues. Five normal human pituitaries and 17 clinically nonfunctioning, 11 GH-secreting, seven prolactin-secreting, and six ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas were used.All normal human pituitary cell types express MEG3. However, loss of MEG3 expression occurs only in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas of a gonadotroph origin. All other pituitary tumor phenotypes examined express MEG3. Hypermethylation of the IG-DMR at the DLK1/MEG3 locus is present in nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.MEG3 is the first human gene identified expressed in multiple normal human pituitary cell types with loss of expression specifically restricted to clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. The IG-DMR hypermethylation may be an additional mechanism for MEG3 gene silencing in such tumors.
Project description:The chromosomal region 14q32 contains several imprinted genes, which are expressed either from the paternal (DLK1 and RTL1) or the maternal (MEG3, RTL1as and MEG8) allele only. Imprinted expression of these genes is regulated by two differentially methylated regions (DMRs), the germline DLK1/MEG3 intergenic (IG)-DMR (MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR) and the somatic MEG3-DMR (MEG3:TSS-DMR), which are methylated on the paternal and unmethylated on the maternal allele. Disruption of imprinting in the 14q32 region results in two clinically distinct imprinting disorders, Temple syndrome (TS14) and Kagami-Ogata syndrome (KOS14). Another DMR with a yet unknown function is located in intron 2 of MEG8 (MEG8-DMR, MEG8:Int2-DMR). In contrast to the IG-DMR and the MEG3-DMR, this somatic DMR is methylated on the maternal chromosome and unmethylated on the paternal chromosome. We have performed extensive methylation analyses by deep bisulfite sequencing of the IG-DMR, MEG3-DMR and MEG8-DMR in different prenatal tissues including amniotic fluid cells and chorionic villi. In addition, we have studied the methylation pattern of the MEG8-DMR in different postnatal tissues. We show that the MEG8-DMR is hypermethylated in each of 13 non-deletion TS14 patients (seven newly identified and six previously published patients), irrespective of the underlying molecular cause, and is always hypomethylated in the four patients with KOS14, who have different deletions not encompassing the MEG8-DMR itself. The size and the extent of the deletions and the resulting methylation pattern suggest that transcription starting from the MEG3 promoter may be necessary to establish the methylation imprint at the MEG8-DMR.
Project description:The Dlk1-Gtl2 imprinting locus is located on mouse distal chromosome 12 and consists of multiple maternally expressed non-coding RNAs and several paternally expressed protein-coding genes. The imprinting of this locus plays a crucial role in embryonic development and postnatal growth. At least one cis-element, the intergenic differentially methylated region (IG-DMR) is required for expression of maternally expressed genes and repression of silenced paternally expressed genes. The mechanism by which the IG-DMR functions is largely unknown. However, it has been suggested that the unmethylated IG-DMR acts as a positive regulator activating expression of non-coding RNAs. Gtl2 is the first non-coding RNA gene downstream of the IG-DMR. Although its in vivo function in the mouse is largely unknown, its human ortholog MEG3 has been linked to tumor suppression in human tumor-derived cell lines. We generated a knockout mouse model, in which the first five exons and adjacent promoter region of the Gtl2 gene were deleted. Maternal deletion of Gtl2 resulted in perinatal death and skeletal muscle defects, indicating that Gtl2 plays an important role in embryonic development. The maternal deletion also completely abolished expression of downstream maternally expressed genes, activated expression of silenced paternally expressed genes and resulted in methylation of the IG-DMR. By contrast, the paternal inherited deletion did not have this effect. These data strongly indicate that activation of Gtl2 and its downstream maternal genes play an essential role in regulating Dlk1-Gtl2 imprinting, possibly by maintaining active status of the IG-DMR.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>ZNF445, as well as ZFP57, is involved in the postfertilization methylation maintenance of multiple imprinting-associated differentially methylated regions (iDMRs). Thus, ZNF445 pathogenic variants are predicted to cause multilocus imprinting disturbances (MLIDs), as do ZFP57 pathogenic variants. In particular, the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR would be affected, because the postzygotic methylation imprint of the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR is maintained primarily by ZNF445, whereas that of most iDMRs is preserved by both ZFP57 and ZNF445 or primarily by ZFP57.<h4>Results</h4>We searched for a ZNF445 variant(s) in six patients with various imprinting disorders (IDs) caused by epimutations and MLIDs revealed by pyrosequencing for nine iDMRs, without a selection for the original IDs. Re-analysis of the previously obtained whole exome sequencing data identified a homozygous ZNF445 variant (NM_181489.6:c.2803C>T:p.(Gln935*)) producing a truncated protein missing two of 14 zinc finger domains in a patient with Temple syndrome and MLID. In this patient, array-based genomewide methylation analysis revealed severe hypomethylation of most CpGs at the MEG3:TSS-DMR, moderate hypomethylation of roughly two-thirds of CpGs at the H19/IGF2:IG-DMR, and mild-to-moderate hypomethylation of a few CpGs at the DIRAS3:TSS-DMR, MEST:alt-TSS-DMR, IGF2:Ex9-DMR, IGF2:alt-TSS, and GNAS-AS1:TSS-DMR. Furthermore, bisulfite sequencing analysis for the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR delineated a markedly hypomethylated segment (CG-A). The heterozygous parents were clinically normal and had virtually no aberrant methylation pattern.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We identified a ZNF445 pathogenic variant for the first time. Since ZNF445 binds to the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR and other iDMRs affected in this patient, the development of Temple syndrome and MLID would primarily be explained by the ZNF445 variant. Furthermore, CG-A may be the target site for ZNF445 within the MEG3/DLK1:IG-DMR.