Sotos syndrome (SS), the most common overgrowth with intellectual disability (OGID) disorder, is caused by inactivating germline mutations of NSD1, which encodes a histone H3 lysine 36 methyltransferase. To understand how NSD1 inactivation deregulates transcription and DNA methylation (DNAm), and to explore how these abnormalities affect human development, we profiled transcription and DNAm in SS patients and healthy control individuals. We identified a transcriptional signature that distinguishes individuals with SS from controls and was also deregulated in NSD1 mutated cancers. Most abnormally expressed genes displayed reduced expression in SS; these downregulated genes consisted mostly of bivalent genes and were enriched for regulators of development and neural synapse function. DNA hypomethylation was strongly enriched within promoters of transcriptionally deregulated genes: Overexpressed genes displayed hypomethylation at their transcription start sites (TSSs) while underexpressed genes featured hypomethylation at polycomb binding sites within their promoter CpG island shores. SS patients featured accelerated molecular aging at the levels of both transcription and DNAm. Overall, these findings indicate that NSD1-deposited H3K36 methylation regulates transcription by directing promoter DNA methylation, partially by repressing polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) activity. These findings could explain the phenotypic similarity of SS to OGID disorders that are caused by mutations in PRC2 complex-encoding genes.
View details for DOI 10.1093/hmg/ddac026
View details for PubMedID 35094088