PROJECT 4 FSH-Patient Derived IPS Cells to Study the Developmental Regulation of DUX4 Transcription The D4Z4 repeat array with multiple copies of the intronless DUX4 gene likely developed as a consequence of retrotransposition of an ancestral gene expressed in ES cells. Our recent publication and preliminary data shows that transcripts from D4Z4 are readily detectable in ES cells making them an important cell type for the study of DUX4 transcriptional regulation. Our preliminary data are consistent with the idea that DUX4 is expressed constitutively in ES cells and its regulation is largely achieved by transcriptional silencing as cells differentiate into other tissue types. Our hypothesis is that FSHD is caused by sequence variations in D4Z4 that disrupt this silencing process with unique toxicity to muscle cells. Our long term goal is to define the normal and pathogenic transcription patterns during development, and identify sequences responsible for the altered pattern of gene expression in FSHD.
In Aim 1 we describe experiments to develop and characterize IPS cells from controls and FSHD-affected patients, and determine if epigenetic markers of D4Z4 regulation seen in ES cells are recapitulated in IPS cells.
In Aim 2, experiments are described to identify transcriptional enhancer and silencing regions that are presumably the targets of developmental regulation of the D4Z4 locus, and therefore will be important targets for therapeutic intervention. We will determine how transcriptional regulation is altered when these areas are removed or mutated using human and mouse developmental models.
In Aim 3 we will modify cells from FSHD-affected patients to produce isogenic clones with homozygous D4Z4 genotypes and quantify transcription differences that result as a consequence of these modifications. In so doing we will produce myoblasts from FSHD patients that contain only non-pathogenic an-ays and with advances in IPS cell development, could be used for autologous transplantation.

Public Health Relevance

The significance of these studies is that an understanding of normal and pathogenic developmental patterns of DUX4 transcriptional regulation will provide a model for disease pathophysiology and help identify therapeutic targets for treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
United States
Zip Code
Lemmers, Richard J L F; van der Vliet, Patrick J; Vreijling, Jeroen P et al. (2018) Cis D4Z4 repeat duplications associated with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy type 2. Hum Mol Genet 27:3488-3497
Lim, Jong-Won; Wong, Chao-Jen; Yao, Zizhen et al. (2018) Small noncoding RNAs in FSHD2 muscle cells reveal both DUX4- and SMCHD1-specific signatures. Hum Mol Genet :
Lemmers, Richard Jlf; van der Vliet, Patrick J; Balog, Judit et al. (2018) Deep characterization of a common D4Z4 variant identifies biallelic DUX4 expression as a modifier for disease penetrance in FSHD2. Eur J Hum Genet 26:94-106
Balog, Judit; Goossens, Remko; Lemmers, Richard J L F et al. (2018) Monosomy 18p is a risk factor for facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. J Med Genet 55:469-478
Campbell, Amy E; Shadle, Sean C; Jagannathan, Sujatha et al. (2018) NuRD and CAF-1-mediated silencing of the D4Z4 array is modulated by DUX4-induced MBD3L proteins. Elife 7:
de Greef, Jessica C; Krom, Yvonne D; den Hamer, Bianca et al. (2018) Smchd1 haploinsufficiency exacerbates the phenotype of a transgenic FSHD1 mouse model. Hum Mol Genet 27:716-731
Campbell, Amy E; Belleville, Andrea E; Resnick, Rebecca et al. (2018) Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy: activating an early embryonic transcriptional program in human skeletal muscle. Hum Mol Genet 27:R153-R162
Mul, Karlien; Heatwole, Chad; Eichinger, Katy et al. (2018) Electrical impedance myography in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy: A 1-year follow-up study. Muscle Nerve 58:213-218
Hendrickson, Peter G; DorĂ¡is, Jessie A; Grow, Edward J et al. (2017) Conserved roles of mouse DUX and human DUX4 in activating cleavage-stage genes and MERVL/HERVL retrotransposons. Nat Genet 49:925-934
Campbell, Amy E; Oliva, Jonathan; Yates, Matthew P et al. (2017) BET bromodomain inhibitors and agonists of the beta-2 adrenergic receptor identified in screens for compounds that inhibit DUX4 expression in FSHD muscle cells. Skelet Muscle 7:16

Showing the most recent 10 out of 53 publications