Phenotypic heterogeneity in monogenic neurodevelopmental disorders can arise from differential severity of variants underlying disease, but how distinct alleles drive variable disease presentation is not well understood. Here, we investigate missense mutations in DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A), a DNA methyltransferase associated with overgrowth, intellectual disability, and autism, to uncover molecular correlates of phenotypic heterogeneity. We generate a Dnmt3aP900L/+ mouse mimicking a mutation with mild to moderate severity and compare phenotypic and epigenomic effects with a severe R878H mutation. P900L mutants exhibit core growth and behavioral phenotypes shared across models but show subtle epigenomic changes, while R878H mutants display extensive disruptions. We identify mutation-specific dysregulated genes that may contribute to variable disease severity. Shared transcriptomic disruption identified across mutations overlaps dysregulation observed in other developmental disorder models and likely drives common phenotypes. Together, our findings define central drivers of DNMT3A disorders and illustrate how variable epigenomic disruption contributes to phenotypic heterogeneity in neurodevelopmental disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113411
JournalCell Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 28 2023


  • ASD
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • DNA methylation
  • DNMT3A
  • MeCP2
  • NDD
  • enhancer
  • heterogeneity
  • mCA
  • neurodevelopment
  • non-CpG


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