Clinical Utility of a Unique Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Signature for KMT2A-Related Syndrome

Aidin Foroutan, Sadegheh Haghshenas, Pratibha Bhai, Michael A. Levy, Jennifer Kerkhof, Haley McConkey, Marcello Niceta, Andrea Ciolfi, Lucia Pedace, Evelina Miele, David Genevieve, Solveig Heide, Mariëlle Alders, Giuseppe Zampino, Giuseppe Merla, Mélanie Fradin, Eric Bieth, Dominique Bonneau, Klaus Dieterich, Patricia FergelotElise Schaefer, Laurence Faivre, Antonio Vitobello, Silvia Maitz, Rita Fischetto, Cristina Gervasini, Maria Piccione, Ingrid van de Laar, Marco Tartaglia, Bekim Sadikovic*, Anne Sophie Lebre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Wiedemann–Steiner syndrome (WDSTS) is a Mendelian syndromic intellectual disability (ID) condition associated with hypertrichosis cubiti, short stature, and characteristic facies caused by pathogenic variants in the KMT2A gene. Clinical features can be inconclusive in mild and unusual WDSTS presentations with variable ID (mild to severe), facies (typical or not) and other associated malformations (bone, cerebral, renal, cardiac and ophthalmological anomalies). Interpretation and classification of rare KMT2A variants can be challenging. A genome-wide DNA methylation episignature for KMT2A-related syndrome could allow functional classification of variants and provide insights into the pathophysiology of WDSTS. Therefore, we assessed genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in a cohort of 60 patients with clinical diagnosis for WDSTS or Kabuki and identified a unique highly sensitive and specific DNA methylation episignature as a molecular biomarker of WDSTS. WDSTS episignature enabled classification of variants of uncertain significance in the KMT2A gene as well as confirmation of diagnosis in patients with clinical presentation of WDSTS without known genetic variants. The changes in the methylation profile resulting from KMT2A mutations involve global reduction in methylation in various genes, including homeobox gene promoters. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular etiology of WDSTS and explain the broad phenotypic spectrum of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1815
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: Funding for this study was provided, in part, by the London Health Sciences Molecular Diagnostics Development Fund and Genome Canada Genomic Applications Partnership Program Grant (Beyond Genomics: Assessing the Improvement in Diagnosis of Rare Diseases using Clinical Epigenomics in Canada, EpiSign-CAN) awarded to B.S, and Italian Ministry of Health (CCR-2017-23669081, RCR-2020-23670068_001 and Ricerca Corrente 2021) and Italian Ministry of Research (FOE 2019) granted to M.T.

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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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