Aberrant DNA methylation distorts developmental trajectories in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors.

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Life Sci Alliance


Child; Humans; Medulloblastoma; DNA Methylation; Rhabdoid Tumor; Epigenesis, Genetic; Cerebellar Neoplasms; DNA; washington; isb; genomics


Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) are pediatric brain tumors known for their aggressiveness and aberrant but still unresolved epigenetic regulation. To better understand their malignancy, we investigated how AT/RT-specific DNA hypermethylation was associated with gene expression and altered transcription factor binding and how it is linked to upstream regulation. Medulloblastomas, choroid plexus tumors, pluripotent stem cells, and fetal brain were used as references. A part of the genomic regions, which were hypermethylated in AT/RTs similarly as in pluripotent stem cells and demethylated in the fetal brain, were targeted by neural transcriptional regulators. AT/RT-unique DNA hypermethylation was associated with polycomb repressive complex 2 and linked to suppressed genes with a role in neural development and tumorigenesis. Activity of the several NEUROG/NEUROD pioneer factors, which are unable to bind to methylated DNA, was compromised via the suppressed expression or DNA hypermethylation of their target sites, which was also experimentally validated for NEUROD1 in medulloblastomas and AT/RT samples. These results highlight and characterize the role of DNA hypermethylation in AT/RT malignancy and halted neural cell differentiation.


Institute for Systems Biology