Chromatin profiling in human neurons reveals aberrant roles for histone acetylation and BET family proteins in schizophrenia

Lorna A. Farrelly, Shuangping Zheng, Nadine Schrode, Aaron Topol, Natarajan V. Bhanu, Ryan M. Bastle, Aarthi Ramakrishnan, Jennifer C. Chan, Bulent Cetin, Erin Flaherty, Li Shen, Kelly Gleason, Carol A. Tamminga, Benjamin A. Garcia, Haitao Li, Kristen J. Brennand, Ian Maze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychiatric disorder with complex genetic risk dictated by interactions between hundreds of risk variants. Epigenetic factors, such as histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs), have been shown to play critical roles in many neurodevelopmental processes, and when perturbed may also contribute to the precipitation of disease. Here, we apply an unbiased proteomics approach to evaluate combinatorial histone PTMs in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived forebrain neurons from individuals with SZ. We observe hyperacetylation of H2A.Z and H4 in neurons derived from SZ cases, results that were confirmed in postmortem human brain. We demonstrate that the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) protein, BRD4, is a bona fide ‘reader’ of H2A.Z acetylation, and further provide evidence that BET family protein inhibition ameliorates transcriptional abnormalities in patient-derived neurons. Thus, treatments aimed at alleviating BET protein interactions with hyperacetylated histones may aid in the prevention or treatment of SZ.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2195
JournalNature communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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