SHOX resides in the short arm pseudoautosomal region (PAR1) of the sex chromosomes and escapes X inactivation. SHOX haploinsufficiency underlies idiopathic short stature (ISS) and Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis (LWD). A substantial percentage of cases with SHOX haploinsufficiency arise from pseudoautosomal copy number variations (CNVs) involving putative enhancer regions of SHOX. Our previous study using peripheral blood samples showed that some CpG dinucleotides adjacent to SHOX exon 1 were hypomethylated in a healthy woman and methylated in a woman with gross X chromosomal rearrangements. However, it remains unknown whether submicroscopic pseudoautosomal CNVs cause aberrant DNA methylation of SHOX-flanking CpG islands. In this study, we examined the DNA methylation status of SHOX-flanking CpG islands in 50 healthy individuals and 10 ISS/LWD patients with pseudoautosomal CNVs. In silico analysis detected 3 CpG islands within the 20-kb region from the translation start site of SHOX. Pyrosequencing and bisulfite sequencing of genomic DNA samples revealed that these CpG islands were barely methylated in peripheral blood cells and cultured chondrocytes of healthy individuals, as well as in peripheral blood cells of ISS/LWD patients with pseudoautosomal CNVs. These results, in conjunction with our previous findings, indicate that the DNA methylation status of SHOX-flanking CpG islands can be affected by gross X-chromosomal abnormalities, but not by submicroscopic CNVs in PAR1. Such CNVs likely disturb SHOX expression through DNA methylation-independent mechanisms, which need to be determined in future studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology