Yin and yang 1 (YY1) is a well-known zinc-finger transcription factor with crucial roles in normal development and malignancy. YY1 acts both as a repressor and as an activator of gene expression. We have identified 23 individuals with de novo mutations or deletions of YY1 and phenotypic features that define a syndrome of cognitive impairment, behavioral alterations, intrauterine growth restriction, feeding problems, and various congenital malformations. Our combined clinical and molecular data define “YY1 syndrome” as a haploinsufficiency syndrome. Through immunoprecipitation of YY1-bound chromatin from affected individuals’ cells with antibodies recognizing both ends of the protein, we show that YY1 deletions and missense mutations lead to a global loss of YY1 binding with a preferential retention at high-occupancy sites. Finally, we uncover a widespread loss of H3K27 acetylation in particular on the YY1-bound enhancers, underscoring a crucial role for YY1 in enhancer regulation. Collectively, these results define a clinical syndrome caused by haploinsufficiency of YY1 through dysregulation of key transcriptional regulators.
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