Mutations in the chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 2 (CHD2) gene are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. However, mechanisms by which CHD2 regulates human brain development remain largely uncharacterized. Here, we used a human embryonic stem cell model of cortical interneuron (hcIN) development to elucidate its roles in this process. We identified genome-wide CHD2 binding profiles during hcIN differentiation, defining direct CHD2 targets related to neurogenesis in hcIN progenitors and to neuronal function in hcINs. CHD2 bound sites were frequently coenriched with histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation (H3K27ac) and associated with high gene expression, indicating roles for CHD2 in promoting gene expression during hcIN development. Binding sites for different classes of transcription factors were enriched at CHD2 bound regions during differentiation, suggesting transcription factors that may cooperatively regulate stage-specific gene expression with CHD2. We also demonstrated that CHD2 haploinsufficiency altered CHD2 and H3K27ac coenrichment on chromatin and expression of associated genes, decreasing acetylation and expression of cell cycle genes while increasing acetylation and expression of neuronal genes, to cause precocious differentiation. Together, these data describe CHD2 direct targets and mechanisms by which CHD2 prevents precocious hcIN differentiation, which are likely to be disrupted by pathogenic CHD2 mutation to cause neurodevelopmental disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15636
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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