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Methyl-CpG2-binding protein 2 mediates overlapping mechanisms across brain disorders.

By Snow Bach, Niamh M Ryan, Paolo Guasoni, Aiden P Corvin, Daniela Tropea

Posted 28 Oct 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/819573

Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a chromatin-binding protein and a modulator of gene expression. Initially identified as an oncogene, MECP2 is now mostly associated to Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental condition, though there is evidence of its influence in other brain disorders. We design a procedure that considers several binding properties of MeCP2 and we screen for potential targets across neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions. We find MeCP2 target genes associated to a range of disorders, including - among others - Alzheimer Disease, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Multiple Sclerosis. The analysis of biological mechanisms and pathways modulated by MeCP2s target genes shows that such mechanisms are involved in three main processes: neuronal transmission, immuno-reactivity and development. These results suggest that similar symptoms present in different pathologies have a common molecular basis, and that treatments for one condition have potential applications to related disorders.

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