May 9, 2021

Dysregulation of NRSF/REST via EHMT1 is association with psychiatric disorders

<p>Genetic evidence indicates disrupted epigenetic regulation as a major risk factor for psychiatric disorders, but the molecular mechanisms that drive this association are undetermined. EHMT1 is an epigenetic repressor that is causal for Kleefstra Syndrome (KS), a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) leading to ID, and is associated with schizophrenia. Here, we show that reduced EHMT1 activity decreases NRSF/REST protein leading to abnormal neuronal gene expression and progression of neurodevelopment in human iPSC. We further show that EHMT1 regulates NRSF/REST indirectly via repression of miRNA leading to aberrant neuronal gene regulation and neurodevelopment timing. Expression of a NRSF/REST mRNA that lacks the miRNA-binding sites restores neuronal gene regulation to EHMT1 deficient cells. Importantly, the EHMT1-regulated miRNA gene set with elevated expression is enriched for NRSF/REST regulators with an association for ID and schizophrenia. This reveals a molecular interaction between H3K9 dimethylation and NSRF/REST contributing to the aetiology of psychiatric disorders.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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