Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology
Bioinformatics | Computational Biology | Computational Neuroscience | Genetics | Molecular Genetics | Nervous System Diseases
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder resulting from expansion of CAG repeats in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Previous studies have shown mutant HTT can alter expression of genes associated with dysregulated epigenetic modifications. One of the most widely studied chromatin modifications is trimethylated lysine 4 of histone 3 (H3K4me3). Here, we conducted the first comprehensive study of H3K4me3 ChIP-sequencing in neuronal chromatin from the prefrontal cortex of six HD cases and six non-neurologic controls, and its association with gene expression measured by RNA-sequencing. We detected 2,830 differentially enriched H3K4me3 peaks between HD and controls, with 55% of them down-regulated in HD. Although H3K4me3 signals are expected to be associated with mRNA levels, we found an unexpected discordance between altered H3K4me3 peaks and mRNA levels. Gene ontology (GO) term enrichment analysis of the genes with differential H3K4me3 peaks, revealed statistically significantly enriched GO terms only in the genes with down-regulated signals in HD. The most frequently implicated biological process terms are organ morphogenesis and positive regulation of gene expression. More than 9,000 H3K4me3 peaks were located not near any recognized transcription start sites and approximately 36% of these "distal" peaks co-localized to known enhancer sites. Six transcription factors and chromatin remodelers are differentially enriched in HD H3K4me3 distal peaks, including EZH2 and SUZ12, two core subunits of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2). Moreover, PRC2 repressive state was significantly depleted in HD-enriched peaks, suggesting the epigenetic role of PRC2 inhibition associated with up-regulated H3K4me3 in Huntington's disease. In summary, our study provides new insights into transcriptional dysregulation of Huntington's disease by analyzing the differentiation of H3K4me3 enrichment.
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DOI of Published Version
PLoS One. 2015 Dec 4;10(12):e0144398. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144398. eCollection 2015. Link to article on publisher's site
Dong, Xianjun; Tsuji, Junko; Labadorf, Adam; Roussos, Panos; Chen, Jiang-Fan; Myers, Richard H.; Akbarian, Schahram; and Weng, Zhiping, "The Role of H3K4me3 in Transcriptional Regulation Is Altered in Huntington's Disease" (2015). Open Access Articles. 2685.
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