Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) and Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) are imprinting-related disorders associated with genetic/epigenetic alterations of the 11p15.5 region, which harbours two clusters of imprinted genes (IGs). 11p15.5 IGs are regulated by the methylation status of imprinting control regions ICR1 and ICR2. 3D chromatin structure is thought to play a pivotal role in gene expression control; however, chromatin architecture models are still poorly defined in most cases, particularly for IGs. Our study aimed at elucidating 11p15.5 3D structure, via 3C and 3D FISH analyses of cell lines derived from healthy, BWS or SRS children. We found that, in healthy cells, IGF2/H19 and CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domains fold in complex chromatin conformations, that facilitate the control of IGs mediated by distant enhancers. In patient-derived cell lines, we observed a profound impairment of such a chromatin architecture. Specifically, we identified a cross-talk between IGF2/H19 and CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 domains, consisting in in cis, monoallelic interactions, that are present in healthy cells but lost in patient cell lines: an inter-domain association that sees ICR2 move close to IGF2 on one allele, and to H19 on the other. Moreover, an intra-domain association within the CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1 locus seems to be crucial for maintaining the 3D organization of the region.
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