15q11-13 GABAA receptor genes are normally biallelically expressed in brain yet are subject to epigenetic dysregulation in autism-spectrum disorders.
ABSTRACT Human chromosome 15q11-13 is a complex locus containing imprinted genes as well as a cluster of three GABA(A) receptor subunit (GABR) genes-GABRB3, GABRA5 and GABRG3. Deletion or duplication of 15q11-13 GABR genes occurs in multiple human neurodevelopmental disorders including Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), Angelman syndrome (AS) and autism. GABRB3 protein expression is also reduced in Rett syndrome (RTT), caused by mutations in MECP2 on Xq28. Although Gabrb3 is biallelically expressed in mouse brain, conflicting data exist regarding the imprinting status of the 15q11-13 GABR genes in humans. Using coding single nucleotide polymorphisms we show that all three GABR genes are biallelically expressed in 21 control brain samples, demonstrating that these genes are not imprinted in normal human cortex. Interestingly, four of eight autism and one of five RTT brain samples showed monoallelic or highly skewed allelic expression of one or more GABR gene, suggesting that epigenetic dysregulation of these genes is common to both disorders. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis of PWS and AS samples with paternal and maternal 15q11-13 deletions revealed a paternal expression bias of GABRB3, while RTT brain samples showed a significant reduction in GABRB3 and UBE3A. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and bisulfite sequencing in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells demonstrated that MeCP2 binds to methylated CpG sites within GABRB3. Our previous studies demonstrated that homologous 15q11-13 pairing in neurons was dependent on MeCP2 and was disrupted in RTT and autism cortex. Combined, these results suggest that MeCP2 acts as a chromatin organizer for optimal expression of both alleles of GABRB3 in neurons.
Article: De novo truncating mutations in E6-AP ubiquitin-protein ligase gene (UBE3A) in Angelman syndrome.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Angelman syndrome (AS) is associated with maternal deletions of human chromosome 15q11-q13 and with paternal uniparental disomy for this region indicating that deficiency of an imprinted, maternally expressed gene within the critical interval is the likely cause of the syndrome. Although the gene for E6-AP ubiquitin-protein ligase (UBE3A) was mapped to the critical region for AS, evidence of expression from both parental alleles initially suggested that it was an unlikely candidate gene for this disorder. Because attempts to identify any novel maternally expressed transcripts were unsuccessful and because the UBE3A gene remained within a narrowed AS critical region, we searched for mutations in UBE3A in 11 AS patients without known molecular defects (large deletion, uniparental disomy, or imprinting mutation). This analysis tested the possibility that deficiency of an undefined, maternally expressed transcript or isoform of the UBE3A gene could cause AS. Four mutations were identified including a de novo frameshift mutation and a de novo nonsense mutation in exon 3 and two missense mutations of less certain significance. The de novo truncating mutations indicate that UBE3A is the AS gene and suggest the possibility of a maternally expressed gene product in addition to the biallelically expressed transcript. Intragenic mutation of UBE3A in AS is the first example of a genetic disorder of the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic pathway in mammals. It may represent an example of a human genetic disorder associated with a locus producing functionally distinct imprinted and biallelically expressed gene products.Nature Genetics 02/1997; 15(1):74-7. · 35.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In higher eukaryotes, cell cycle progression is controlled by cyclin dependent kinases (Cdks) complexed with cyclins. A-type cyclins are involved at both G1/S and G2/M transitions of the cell cycle. Cyclin A2 activates cdc2 (Cdk1) on passage into mitosis and Cdk2 at the G1/S transition. Antisense constructs, or antibodies directed against cyclin A2 block cultured mammalian cells at both of these transitions. In contrast, overexpression of cyclin A2 appears to advance S phase entry and confer anchorage-independent growth, and can lead to apoptosis. A second A-type cyclin, cyclin A1 has been described recently which, in the mouse, is expressed in germ cells but not somatic tissues. To address the possible redundancy between different cyclins in vivo and also the control of early embryonic cell cycles, we undertook the targeted deletion of the murine cyclin A2 gene. The homozygous null mutant is embryonically lethal, demonstrating that the cyclin A2 gene is essential. Surprisingly, homozygous null mutant embryos develop normally until post-implantation, around day 5.5 p.c. This observation may be explained by the persistence of a maternal pool of cyclin A2 protein until at least the blastocyst stage, or an unexpected role for cyclin A1 during early embryo development.Nature Genetics 02/1997; 15(1):83-6. · 35.53 Impact Factor