A transgenic mice model of retinopathy of cblG-type inherited disorder of one-carbon metabolism highlights epigenome-wide alterations related to cone photoreceptor cells development and retinal metabolism.

Matmat Karim and Conart Jean-Baptiste and Graindorge Paul-Henri and El Kouche Sandra and Hassan Ziad and Siblini Youssef and Umoret Rémy and Safar Ramia and Baspinar Okan and Robert Aurélie and Alberto Jean-Marc and Oussalah Abderrahim and C

BACKGROUND: MTR gene encodes the cytoplasmic enzyme methionine synthase, which plays a pivotal role in the methionine cycle of one-carbon metabolism. This cycle holds a significant importance in generating S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), the respective universal methyl donor and end-product of epigenetic transmethylation reactions. cblG type of inherited disorders of vitamin B12 metabolism due to mutations in MTR gene exhibits a wide spectrum of symptoms, including a retinopathy unresponsive to conventional therapies. METHODS: To unveil the underlying epigenetic pathological mechanisms, we conducted a comprehensive study of epigenomic-wide alterations of DNA methylation by NGS of bisulfited retinal DNA in an original murine model with conditional Mtr deletion in retinal tissue. Our focus was on postnatal day 21, a critical developmental juncture for ocular structure refinement and functional maturation. RESULTS: We observed delayed eye opening and impaired visual acuity and alterations in the one-carbon metabolomic profile, with a notable dramatic decline in SAM/SAH ratio predicted to impair DNA methylation. This metabolic disruption led to epigenome-wide changes in genes involved in eye development, synaptic plasticity, and retinoid metabolism, including promoter hypermethylation of Rarα, a regulator of Lrat expression. Consistently, we observed a decline in cone photoreceptor cells and reduced expression of Lrat, Rpe65, and Rdh5, three pivotal genes of eye retinoid metabolism. CONCLUSION: We introduced an original in vivo model for studying cblG retinopathy, which highlighted the pivotal role of altered DNA methylation in eye development, cone differentiation, and retinoid metabolism. This model can be used for preclinical studies of novel therapeutic targets.

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October, 2023



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