YY1 mutations disrupt corticogenesis through a cell-type specific rewiring of cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous transcriptional programs.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Germline mutations of YY1 cause Gabriele-de Vries syndrome (GADEVS), a neurodevelopmental disorder featuring intellectual disability and a wide range of systemic manifestations. To dissect the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying GADEVS, we combined large-scale imaging, single-cell multiomics and gene regulatory network reconstruction in 2D and 3D patient-derived physiopathologically relevant cell lineages. YY1 haploinsufficiency causes a pervasive alteration of cell type specific transcriptional networks, disrupting corticogenesis at the level of neural progenitors and terminally differentiated neurons, including cytoarchitectural defects reminiscent of GADEVS clinical features. Transcriptional alterations in neurons propagated to neighboring astrocytes through a major non-cell autonomous pro-inflammatory effect that grounds the rationale for modulatory interventions. Together, neurodevelopmental trajectories, synaptic formation and neuronal-astrocyte cross talk emerged as salient domains of YY1 dosage-dependent vulnerability. Mechanistically, cell-type resolved reconstruction of gene regulatory networks uncovered the regulatory interplay between YY1, NEUROG2 and ETV5 and its aberrant rewiring in GADEVS. Our findings underscore the reach of advanced in vitro models in capturing developmental antecedents of clinical features and exposing their underlying mechanisms to guide the search for targeted interventions.

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