Transcriptome analysis of MBD5-associated neurodevelopmental disorder (MAND) neural progenitor cells reveals dysregulation of autism-associated genes.
ABSTRACT: MBD5-associated neurodevelopmental disorder (MAND) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characterized by intellectual disability, motor delay, speech impairment and behavioral problems; however, the biological role of methyl-CpG-binding domain 5, MBD5, in neurodevelopment and ASD remains largely undefined. Hence, we created neural progenitor cells (NPC) derived from individuals with chromosome 2q23.1 deletion and conducted RNA-seq to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and the biological processes and pathways altered in MAND. Primary skin fibroblasts from three unrelated individuals with MAND and four unrelated controls were converted into induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, followed by directed differentiation of iPSC to NPC. Transcriptome analysis of MAND NPC revealed 468 DEGs (q < 0.05), including 20 ASD-associated genes. Comparison of DEGs in MAND with SFARI syndromic autism genes revealed a striking significant overlap in biological processes commonly altered in neurodevelopmental phenotypes, with TGFβ, Hippo signaling, DNA replication, and cell cycle among the top enriched pathways. Overall, these transcriptome deviations provide potential connections to the overlapping neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric phenotypes associated with key high-risk ASD genes, including chromatin modifiers and epigenetic modulators, that play significant roles in these disease states.
Project description:Purpose: MBD5-Associated Neurodevelopmental Disorder (MAND) is an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) disorder characterized by intellectual disability, motor delay, severe speech impairment and autism-like behavioral problems. The role of MBD5 in neurodevelopmental function remains largely undefined. In this study, we explored the neurodevelopmental phenotype of 2q23.1 deletion syndrome through creating neuronal progenitor stem cells (NPC) derived from 2q23.1 patients and conducting RNA-seq to identify the contributory altered gene and to expand our knowledge about gene network differences and possible interactions between the related disease pathways and ASD. Methods: Primary skin fibroblasts from three MAND patients and four control cases were converted into induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines by transient transfections of episomal plasmids. Directed differentiation of these iPSC to NPC was accomplished with monolayer culture protocol for two weeks. Results: The RNA-seq analysis identified 498 genome-wide significant (q < 0.05) differentially expressed gene in the patients derived NPC lines as a consequence of reduced MBD5 dosage. 25 ASD associated genes were included in the differentially expressed gene list. On the top of the list, FOXG1 expression is significantly (P < 0.0001) increased in the patient derived NPC samples. The differentially expressed gene list was highly overlapped with the SFARI autism gene set, identifying biological processes that are implicating neurological phenotype and ASD such as central nervous system development, neuron differentiation, and regulation of neurogenesis. The findings of the transcriptome deviation in early neuronal stage of MAND can provide potential connection to the overlapping neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric phenotypes associated with growing risk factors, such as other chromatin modifiers and epigenetic factors that link to ASD. Such in vitro models can nurture hypotheses toward therapeutic interventions.
Project description:MBD5-associated neurodevelopmental disorder (MAND) is an umbrella term that describes a group of disorders, 2q23.1 deletion syndrome, 2q23.1 duplication syndrome, and MBD5 variants, that affect the function of methyl-binding domain 5 (MBD5) and share a common set of neurodevelopmental, cognitive, and behavioral impairments. This review provides a comprehensive clinical and molecular synopsis of 2q23.1 deletion syndrome. Approaches to diagnosis, genetic counseling, and up-to-date management are summarized, followed by a discussion of the molecular and functional role of MBD5. Finally, we also include a brief summary of MBD5 variants that affect function of MBD5 and 2q23.1 duplication syndrome.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Microdeletions of 2q23.1 disrupting MBD5 and loss of function mutations of MBD5 cause MBD5-Associated Neurodevelopmental disorders (MAND). Nearly all reported patients have been isolated cases of de novo origin. METHODS:This study investigates three families with inherited MBD5 mutations from three different Regional Genetics Centres in the UK. RESULTS:Two of the parents in the study had MBD5 deletions in a mosaic form. The parent with an MBD5 deletion in an apparently nonmosaic form has a psychiatric disorder in the absence of developmental delay or dysmorphism. CONCLUSIONS:Inherited forms of MBD5 deletions are rare, but do occur, especially in a mosaic form. The phenotypic spectrum of MAND may be wider than previously thought.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The minimal critical region in 2q23.1 deletion syndrome comprises one gene only, that is, the methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 5 (MBD5) gene. Since the phenotypes of patients with deletions, duplications or pathogenic variants of MBD5 show considerable overlap, the term MBD5-associated neurodevelopmental disorder (MAND) was proposed. These syndromes are characterized by intellectual disability, seizures of any kind and symptoms from the autism spectrum. In a very limited number of patients, MAND may be associated with regression starting either at early infancy or at midlife. METHODS:The present paper describes a severely intellectually disabled autistic female with therapy resistant complex partial epilepsy starting at her 16the with gradual cognitive and behavioral regression towards her sixth decade. RESULTS:Cognitive and behavioral regression occurred towards the patient's sixth decade. Exome sequencing disclosed a novel heterozygous pathogenic frameshift mutation of MBD5 that was considered to be causative for the combination of intellectual disability, treatment-resistant epilepsy and autism. CONCLUSION:The presented patient is the second with a pathogenic MBD5 mutation in whom the course of disease is suggestive of early onset dementia starting in her fifth decade. These findings stress the importance of exome sequencing, also in elderly intellectually disabled patients, particularly in those with autism.
Project description:BACKGROUND:MBD5, encoding the methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 protein, has been proposed as a necessary and sufficient driver of the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. De novo missense and protein-truncating variants from exome sequencing studies have directly implicated MBD5 in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). However, little is known concerning the specific function(s) of MBD5. METHODS:To gain insight into the complex interactions associated with alteration of MBD5 in individuals with ASD and related NDDs, we explored the transcriptional landscape of MBD5 haploinsufficiency across multiple mouse brain regions of a heterozygous hypomorphic Mbd5+/GT mouse model, and compared these results to CRISPR-mediated mutations of MBD5 in human iPSC-derived neuronal models. RESULTS:Gene expression analyses across three brain regions from Mbd5+/GT mice showed subtle transcriptional changes, with cortex displaying the most widespread changes following Mbd5 reduction, indicating context-dependent effects. Comparison with MBD5 reduction in human neuronal cells reinforced the context-dependence of gene expression changes due to MBD5 deficiency. Gene co-expression network analyses revealed gene clusters that were associated with reduced MBD5 expression and enriched for terms related to ciliary function. LIMITATIONS:These analyses included a limited number of mouse brain regions and neuronal models, and the effects of the gene knockdown are subtle. As such, these results will not reflect the full extent of MBD5 disruption across human brain regions during early neurodevelopment in ASD, or capture the diverse spectrum of cell-type-specific changes associated with MBD5 alterations. CONCLUSIONS:Our study points to modest and context-dependent transcriptional consequences of Mbd5 disruption in the brain. It also suggests a possible link between MBD5 and perturbations in ciliary function, which is an established pathogenic mechanism in developmental disorders and syndromes.
Project description:Persons with neurodevelopmental disorders or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often harbor chromosomal microdeletions, yet the individual genetic contributors within these regions have not been systematically evaluated. We established a consortium of clinical diagnostic and research laboratories to accumulate a large cohort with genetic alterations of chromosomal region 2q23.1 and acquired 65 subjects with microdeletion or translocation. We sequenced translocation breakpoints; aligned microdeletions to determine the critical region; assessed effects on mRNA expression; and examined medical records, photos, and clinical evaluations. We identified a single gene, methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 (MBD5), as the only locus that defined the critical region. Partial or complete deletion of MBD5 was associated with haploinsufficiency of mRNA expression, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and autistic features. Fourteen alterations, including partial deletions of noncoding regions not typically captured or considered pathogenic by current diagnostic screening, disrupted MBD5 alone. Expression profiles and clinical characteristics were largely indistinguishable between MBD5-specific alteration and deletion of the entire 2q23.1 interval. No copy-number alterations of MBD5 were observed in 7878 controls, suggesting MBD5 alterations are highly penetrant. We surveyed MBD5 coding variations among 747 ASD subjects compared to 2043 non-ASD subjects analyzed by whole-exome sequencing and detected an association with a highly conserved methyl-CpG-binding domain missense variant, p.79Gly>Glu (c.236G>A) (p = 0.012). These results suggest that genetic alterations of MBD5 cause features of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and that this epigenetic regulator significantly contributes to ASD risk, warranting further consideration in research and clinical diagnostic screening and highlighting the importance of chromatin remodeling in the etiology of these complex disorders.
Project description:Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have an identifiable single-gene neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD), such as fragile X syndrome (FXS, FMR1), Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS, RAI1), or 2q23.1 deletion syndrome (del 2q23.1, MBD5) share phenotypic features, including a high prevalence of sleep disturbance. We describe the circadian deficits in del 2q23.1 through caregiver surveys in which we identify several frequent sleep anomalies, including night/early awakenings, coughing/snoring loudly, and difficulty falling asleep. We couple these findings with studies on the molecular analysis of the circadian deficits associated with haploinsufficiency of MBD5 in which circadian gene mRNA levels of NR1D2, PER1, PER2, and PER3 were altered in del 2q23.1 lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), signifying that haploinsufficiency of MBD5 can result in dysregulation of circadian rhythm gene expression. These findings were further supported by expression microarrays of MBD5 siRNA knockdown cells that showed significantly altered expression of additional circadian rhythm signaling pathway genes. Based on the common sleep phenotypes observed in del 2q23.1, SMS, and FXS patients, we explored the possibility that MBD5, RAI1, and FMR1 function in overlapping circadian rhythm pathways. Bioinformatic analysis identified conserved putative E boxes in MBD5 and RAI1, and expression levels of NR1D2 and CRY2 were significantly reduced in patient LCLs. Circadian and mTOR signaling pathways, both associated with sleep disturbance, were altered in both MBD5 and RAI1 knockdown microarray data, overlapping with findings associated with FMR1. These data support phenotypic and molecular overlaps across these syndromes that may be exploited to provide therapeutic intervention for multiple disorders.
Project description:Copy number variations associated with abnormal gene dosage have an important role in the genetic etiology of many neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability (ID) and autism. We hypothesize that the chromosome 2q23.1 region encompassing MBD5 is a dosage-dependent region, wherein deletion or duplication results in altered gene dosage. We previously established the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and report herein 23 individuals with 2q23.1 duplications, thus establishing a complementary duplication syndrome. The observed phenotype includes ID, language impairments, infantile hypotonia and gross motor delay, behavioral problems, autistic features, dysmorphic facial features (pinnae anomalies, arched eyebrows, prominent nose, small chin, thin upper lip), and minor digital anomalies (fifth finger clinodactyly and large broad first toe). The microduplication size varies among all cases and ranges from 68 kb to 53.7 Mb, encompassing a region that includes MBD5, an important factor in methylation patterning and epigenetic regulation. We previously reported that haploinsufficiency of MBD5 is the primary causal factor in 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and that mutations in MBD5 are associated with autism. In this study, we demonstrate that MBD5 is the only gene in common among all duplication cases and that overexpression of MBD5 is likely responsible for the core clinical features present in 2q23.1 microduplication syndrome. Phenotypic analyses suggest that 2q23.1 duplication results in a slightly less severe phenotype than the reciprocal deletion. The features associated with a deletion, mutation or duplication of MBD5 and the gene expression changes observed support MBD5 as a dosage-sensitive gene critical for normal development.
Project description:Roughly 20% of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are syndromic with a well-established genetic cause. Studying the genes involved can provide insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ASD. 2q23.1 deletion syndrome (causative gene, MBD5) is a recently identified genetic neurodevelopmental disorder associated with ASD. Mutations in MBD5 have been found in ASD cohorts. In this study, we provide a phenotypic update on the prevalent features of 2q23.1 deletion syndrome, which include severe intellectual disability, seizures, significant speech impairment, sleep disturbance, and autistic-like behavioral problems. Next, we examined the phenotypic, molecular, and network/pathway relationships between nine neurodevelopmental disorders associated with ASD: 2q23.1 deletion Rett, Angelman, Pitt-Hopkins, 2q23.1 duplication, 5q14.3 deletion, Kleefstra, Kabuki make-up, and Smith-Magenis syndromes. We show phenotypic overlaps consisting of intellectual disability, speech delay, seizures, sleep disturbance, hypotonia, and autistic-like behaviors. Molecularly, MBD5 possibly regulates the expression of UBE3A, TCF4, MEF2C, EHMT1 and RAI1. Network analysis reveals that there could be indirect protein interactions, further implicating function for these genes in common pathways. Further, we show that when MBD5 and RAI1 are haploinsufficient, they perturb several common pathways that are linked to neuronal and behavioral development. These findings support further investigations into the molecular and pathway relationships among genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders and ASD, which will hopefully lead to common points of regulation that may be targeted toward therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Intellectual disability (ID) is a clinical sign reflecting diverse neurodevelopmental disorders that are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous. Just recently, partial or complete deletion of methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 (MBD5) gene has been implicated as causative in the phenotype associated with 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. In the course of systematic whole-genome screening of individuals with unexplained ID by array-based comparative genomic hybridization, we identified de novo intragenic deletions of MBD5 in three patients leading, as previously documented, to haploinsufficiency of MBD5. In addition, we described a patient with an unreported de novo MBD5 intragenic duplication. Reverse transcriptase-PCR and sequencing analyses showed the presence of numerous aberrant transcripts leading to premature termination codon. To further elucidate the involvement of MBD5 in ID, we sequenced ten coding, five non-coding exons and an evolutionary conserved region in intron 2, in a selected cohort of 78 subjects with a phenotype reminiscent of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. Besides variants most often inherited from an healthy parent, we identified for the first time a de novo nonsense mutation associated with a much more damaging phenotype. Taken together, these results extend the mutation spectrum in MBD5 gene and contribute to refine the associated phenotype of neurodevelopmental disorder.