Epigenetic therapy of Prader-Willi syndrome.


Journal Article (Review)

Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex and multisystem neurobehavioral disorder. The molecular mechanism of PWS is deficiency of paternally expressed gene gene or genes from the chromosome 15q11-q13. Due to imprinted gene regulation, the same genes in the maternal chromosome 15q11-q13 are structurally intact but transcriptionally repressed by an epigenetic mechanism. The unique molecular defect underlying PWS renders an exciting opportunity to explore epigenetic-based therapy to reactivate the expression of repressed PWS genes from the maternal chromosome. Inactivation of H3K9m3 methyltransferase SETDB1 and zinc finger protein ZNF274 results in reactivation of SNRPN and SNORD116 cluster from the maternal chromosomes in PWS patient iPSCs and iPSC-derived neurons, respectively. High content screening of small molecule libraries using cells derived from transgenic mice carrying the SNRPN-EGFP fusion protein has discovered that inhibitors of EHMT2/G9a, a histone 3 lysine 9 methyltransferase, are capable of reactivating expression of paternally expressed SNRPN and SNORD116 from the maternal chromosome, both in cultured PWS patient-derived fibroblasts and in a PWS mouse model. Treatment with an EMHT2/G9a inhibitor also rescues perinatal lethality and failure to thrive phenotypes in a PWS mouse model. These findings present the first evidence to support a proof-of-principle for epigenetic-based therapy for the PWS in humans.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Kim, Y; Wang, SE; Jiang, Y-H

Published Date

  • June 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 208 /

Start / End Page

  • 105 - 118

PubMed ID

  • 30904443

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30904443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-1810

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1931-5244

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.trsl.2019.02.012


  • eng