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Identification of the DNA methylation signature of Mowat-Wilson syndrome


Abstract

Mowat-Wilson syndrome (MOWS) is a rare congenital disease caused by haploinsufficiency of ZEB2, encoding a transcription factor required for neurodevelopment. MOWS is characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, typical facial phenotype and other anomalies, such as short stature, Hirschsprung disease, brain and heart defects. Despite some recognizable features, MOWS rarity and phenotypic variability may complicate its diagnosis, particularly in the neonatal period. In order to define a novel diagnostic biomarker for MOWS, we determined the genome-wide DNA methylation profile of DNA samples from 29 individuals with confirmed clinical and molecular diagnosis. Through multidimensional scaling and hierarchical clustering analysis, we identified and validated a DNA methylation signature involving 296 differentially methylated probes as part of the broader MOWS DNA methylation profile. The prevalence of hypomethylated CpG sites agrees with the main role of ZEB2 as a transcriptional repressor, while differential methylation within the ZEB2 locus supports the previously proposed autoregulation ability. Correlation studies compared the MOWS cohort with 56 previously described DNA methylation profiles of other neurodevelopmental disorders, further validating the specificity of this biomarker. In conclusion, MOWS DNA methylation signature is highly sensitive and reproducible, providing a useful tool to facilitate diagnosis.

Abstract

Mowat-Wilson syndrome (MOWS) is a rare congenital disease caused by haploinsufficiency of ZEB2, encoding a transcription factor required for neurodevelopment. MOWS is characterized by intellectual disability, epilepsy, typical facial phenotype and other anomalies, such as short stature, Hirschsprung disease, brain and heart defects. Despite some recognizable features, MOWS rarity and phenotypic variability may complicate its diagnosis, particularly in the neonatal period. In order to define a novel diagnostic biomarker for MOWS, we determined the genome-wide DNA methylation profile of DNA samples from 29 individuals with confirmed clinical and molecular diagnosis. Through multidimensional scaling and hierarchical clustering analysis, we identified and validated a DNA methylation signature involving 296 differentially methylated probes as part of the broader MOWS DNA methylation profile. The prevalence of hypomethylated CpG sites agrees with the main role of ZEB2 as a transcriptional repressor, while differential methylation within the ZEB2 locus supports the previously proposed autoregulation ability. Correlation studies compared the MOWS cohort with 56 previously described DNA methylation profiles of other neurodevelopmental disorders, further validating the specificity of this biomarker. In conclusion, MOWS DNA methylation signature is highly sensitive and reproducible, providing a useful tool to facilitate diagnosis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Genetics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Genetics (clinical)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics (clinical), Genetics, DNA methylation, Neurodevelopmental disorders
Language:English
Date:13 February 2024
Deposited On:01 Mar 2024 12:18
Last Modified:30 Apr 2024 01:52
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1018-4813
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-024-01548-4
PubMed ID:38351292
Other Identification Number:Corpus ID: 267655720
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
  • Content: Supplemental Material
  • Language: English
  • Description: Supplementary Information
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)