<p>Background: Alveolar capillary dysplasia with or without misalignment of the pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV) is a lethal congenital lung disorder associated with a variety of heterozygous genomic alterations in the FOXF1 gene or its 60 kb enhancer. Cases without a genomic alteration in the FOXF1 locus have been described as well. The mechanisms responsible for FOXF1 haploinsufficiency and the cause of ACD/MPV in patients without a genomic FOXF1 variant are poorly understood, complicating the search for potential therapeutic targets for ACD/MPV. To investigate the contribution of aberrant DNA methylation, genome wide methylation patterns of ACD/MPV lung tissues were compared with methylation patterns of control lung tissues using the recently developed technique Methylated DNA sequencing (MeD-seq). Results: Eight ACD/MPV lung tissue samples and three control samples were sequenced and their mutual comparison resulted in identification of 319 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) genome wide, involving 115 protein coding genes. The potentially upregulated genes were significantly enriched in developmental signalling pathways, whereas potentially downregulated genes were mainly enriched in O-linked glycosylation. In patients with a large maternal deletion encompassing the 60 kb FOXF1 enhancer, DNA methylation patterns in this FOXF1 enhancer were not significantly different compared to controls. However, two hypermethylated regions were detected in the 60 kb FOXF1 enhancer of patients harbouring a FOXF1 point mutation. Lastly, a large hypermethylated region overlapping the first FOXF1 exon was found in one of the ACD/MPV patients without a known pathogenic FOXF1 variation. Conclusion: This is the first study providing genome wide methylation data on lung tissue of ACD/MPV patients. DNA methylation analyses in the FOXF1 locus excludes maternal imprinting of the 60 kb FOXF1 enhancer. Hypermethylation at the 60 kb FOXF1 enhancer might contribute to FOXF1 haploinsufficiency caused by heterozygous mutations in the FOXF1 coding region. Interestingly, DNA methylation analyses of patients without a genomic FOXF1 variant suggest that abnormal hypermethylation of exon 1 might play a role in some ACD/MPV in patients.</p>

doi.org/10.1186/s13148-021-01134-1, hdl.handle.net/1765/136372
Clinical Epigenetics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Heuberger-Slot, E., R.G. (Ruben) Boers, J.B. (Joachim) Boers, W.F.J. (Wilfred) van Ijcken, D (Dick) Tibboel, J. (Joost) Gribnau, … J.E.M.M. (Annelies) de Klein. (2021). Genome wide DNA methylation analysis of alveolar capillary dysplasia lung tissue reveals aberrant methylation of genes involved in development including the FOXF1 locus. Clinical Epigenetics, 13(1). doi:10.1186/s13148-021-01134-1