Polycomb repressive complex 1 provides a molecular explanation for repeat copy number dependency in FSHD muscular dystrophy

V Casà, V Runfola, S Micheloni, A Aziz, FJ Dilworth, D Gabellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Repression of repetitive elements is crucial to preserve genome integrity and has been traditionally ascribed to constitutive heterochromatin pathways. FacioScapuloHumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD), one of themost commonmyopathies, is characterized by a complex interplay of genetic and epigenetic events. The main FSHD form is linked to a reduced copy number of the D4Z4macrosatellite repeat on 4q35, causing loss of silencing and aberrant expression of the D4Z4-embedded DUX4 gene leading to disease. By an unknown mechanism, D4Z4 copy-number correlates with FSHD phenotype. Here we show that the DUX4 proximal promoter (DUX4p) is sufficient to nucleate the enrichment of both constitutive and facultative heterochromatin components and tomediate a copy-number dependent gene silencing.We found that both the CpG/GC dense DNA content and the repetitive nature of DUX4p arrays are important for their repressive ability. We showed that DUX4pmediates a copy numberdependent Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) recruitment, which is responsible for the copy-number dependent gene repression. Overall, we directly link genetic and epigenetic defects in FSHD by proposing a novel molecular explanation for the copy number-dependency in FSHD pathogenesis, and offer insight into themolecular functions of repeats in chromatin regulation. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-767
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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