Genome-wide enhancer-associated tandem repeats are expanded in cardiomyopathy.

Publication date: Feb 26, 2024

Cardiomyopathy is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous heart condition that can lead to heart failure and sudden cardiac death in childhood. While it has a strong genetic basis, the genetic aetiology for over 50% of cardiomyopathy cases remains unknown. In this study, we analyse the characteristics of tandem repeats from genome sequence data of unrelated individuals diagnosed with cardiomyopathy from Canada and the United Kingdom (n = 1216) and compare them to those found in the general population. We perform burden analysis to identify genomic and epigenomic features that are impacted by rare tandem repeat expansions (TREs), and enrichment analysis to identify functional pathways that are involved in the TRE-associated genes in cardiomyopathy. We use Oxford Nanopore targeted long-read sequencing to validate repeat size and methylation status of one of the most recurrent TREs. We also compare the TRE-associated genes to those that are dysregulated in the heart tissues of individuals with cardiomyopathy. We demonstrate that tandem repeats that are rarely expanded in the general population are predominantly expanded in cardiomyopathy. We find that rare TREs are disproportionately present in constrained genes near transcriptional start sites, have high GC content, and frequently overlap active enhancer H3K27ac marks, where expansion-related DNA methylation may reduce gene expression. We demonstrate the gene silencing effect of expanded CGG tandem repeats in DIP2B through promoter hypermethylation. We show that the enhancer-associated loci are found in genes that are highly expressed in human cardiomyocytes and are differentially expressed in the left ventricle of the heart in individuals with cardiomyopathy. Our findings highlight the underrecognized contribution of rare tandem repeat expansions to the risk of cardiomyopathy and suggest that rare TREs contribute to ∼4% of cardiomyopathy risk. Government of Ontario (RKCY), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research PJT 175329 (RKCY), The Azrieli Foundation (RKCY), SickKids Catalyst Scholar in Genetics (RKCY), The University of Toronto McLaughlin Centre (RKCY, SM), Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research (SM), Data Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto (SM), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research PJT 175034 (SM), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research ENP 161429 under the frame of ERA PerMed (SM, RL), Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario & Robert M Freedom Chair in Cardiovascular Science (SM), Bitove Family Professorship of Adult Congenital Heart Disease (EO), Canada Foundation for Innovation (SWS, JR), Canada Research Chair (PS), Genome Canada (PS, JR), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PS).

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Concepts Keywords
Canada Cardiomyopathy (CMP)
Cardiomyopathy Long-read sequencing
Oxford Transcription regulation


Type Source Name
disease MESH cardiomyopathy
disease MESH heart failure
disease MESH sudden cardiac death
disease VO Canada
disease VO population
pathway REACTOME Methylation
disease MESH Stroke
disease MESH Congenital Heart Disease
drug DRUGBANK Cytidine-5′-Monophosphate

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