Supplementary Material for: Severe Progressive Autism Associated with Two de novo Changes: A 2.6-Mb 2q31.1 Deletion and a Balanced t(14;21)(q21.1;p11.2) Translocation with Long-Range Epigenetic Silencing of LRFN5 Expression

In a 19-year-old severely autistic and mentally retarded girl, a balanced de novo t(14;21)(q21.1;p11.2) translocation was found in addition to a de novo 2.6-Mb 2q31.1 deletion containing 15 protein-encoding genes. To investigate if the translocation might contribute to developmental stagnation at the age of 2 years with later regression of skills, i.e. a more severe phenotype than expected from the 2q31.1 deletion, the epigenetic status and expression of genes proximal and distal to the 14q21.1 breakpoint were investigated in Ebstein Barr Virus-transformed lymphoblast and primary skin fibroblast cells. The 14q21.1 breakpoint was found to be located between a cluster of 7 genes 0.1 Mb upstream, starting with FBXO33, and the single and isolated LRFN5 gene 2.1 Mb downstream. Only expression of LRFN5 appeared to be affected by its novel genomic context. In patient fibroblasts, LRFN5 expression was 10-fold reduced compared to LRFN5 expressed in control fibroblasts. In addition, a relative increase in trimethylated histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9M3)-associated DNA starting exactly at the translocation breakpoint and going 2.5 Mb beyond the LRFN5 gene was found. At the LRFN5 promoter, there was a distinct peak of trimethylated histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27M3)-associated DNA in addition to a diminished trimethylated histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4M3) level. We speculate that dysregulation of LRFN5, a postsynaptic density-associated gene, may contribute to the patient’s autism, even though 2 other patients with 14q13.2q21.3 deletions that included LRFN5 were not autistic. More significantly, we have shown that translocations may influence gene expression more than 2 Mb away from the translocation breakpoint.