Histone lysine methyltransferases (KMTs) and demethylases (KDMs) underpin gene regulation. Here we demonstrate that variants causing haploinsufficiency of KMTs and KDMs are frequently encountered in individuals with developmental disorders. Using a combination of human variation databases and existing animal models, we determine 22 KMTs and KDMs as additional candidates for dominantly inherited developmental disorders. We show that KMTs and KDMs that are associated with, or are candidates for, dominant developmental disorders tend to have a higher level of transcription, longer canonical transcripts, more interactors, and a higher number and more types of post-translational modifications than other KMT and KDMs. We provide evidence to firmly associate KMT2C, ASH1L, and KMT5B haploinsufficiency with dominant developmental disorders. Whereas KMT2C or ASH1L haploinsufficiency results in a predominantly neurodevelopmental phenotype with occasional physical anomalies, KMT5B mutations cause an overgrowth syndrome with intellectual disability. We further expand the phenotypic spectrum of KMT2B-related disorders and show that some individuals can have severe developmental delay without dystonia at least until mid-childhood. Additionally, we describe a recessive histone lysine-methylation defect caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous KDM5B variants and resulting in a recognizable syndrome with developmental delay, facial dysmorphism, and camptodactyly. Collectively, these results emphasize the significance of histone lysine methylation in normal human development and the importance of this process in human developmental disorders. Our results demonstrate that systematic clinically oriented pathway-based analysis of genomic data can accelerate the discovery of rare genetic disorders.
- chromatin remodeling
- Developmental disorders
- histone lysine demethylase
- histone lysine methyltransferase
ASJC Scopus subject areas