UBC Faculty Research and Publications

MeCP2-E1 isoform is a dynamically expressed, weakly DNA-bound protein with different protein and DNA interactions compared to MeCP2-E2 Martínez de Paz, Alexia; Khajavi, Leila; Martin, Hélène; Claveria-Gimeno, Rafael; Tom Dieck, Susanne; Cheema, Manjinder S; Sanchez-Mut, Jose V; Moksa, Malgorzata M; Carles, Annaick; Brodie, Nick I; et al.


Background: MeCP2—a chromatin-binding protein associated with Rett syndrome—has two main isoforms, MeCP2-E1 and MeCP2-E2, differing in a few N-terminal amino acid residues. Previous studies have shown brain region-specific expression of these isoforms which, in addition to their different cellular localization and differential expression during brain development, suggest that they may also have non-overlapping molecular mechanisms. However, differential functions of MeCP2-E1 and E2 remain largely unexplored. Results: Here, we show that the N-terminal domains (NTD) of MeCP2-E1 and E2 modulate the ability of the methyl-binding domain (MBD) to interact with DNA as well as influencing the turn-over rates, binding dynamics, response to neuronal depolarization, and circadian oscillations of the two isoforms. Our proteomics data indicate that both isoforms exhibit unique interacting protein partners. Moreover, genome-wide analysis using ChIP-seq provide evidence for a shared as well as a specific regulation of different sets of genes. Conclusions: Our study supports the idea that Rett syndrome might arise from simultaneous impairment of cellular processes involving non-overlapping functions of MECP2 isoforms. For instance, MeCP2-E1 mutations might impact stimuli-dependent chromatin regulation, while MeCP2-E2 mutations could result in aberrant ribosomal expression. Overall, our findings provide insight into the functional complexity of MeCP2 by dissecting differential aspects of its two isoforms.

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