Background: The bromodomain containing 1 (BRD1) gene has been implicated with transcriptional regulation, brain development, and susceptibility to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. To advance the understanding of BRD1 and its role in mental disorders, we characterized the protein and chromatin interactions of the BRD1 isoforms, BRD1-S and BRD1-L.
Methods: Stable human cell lines expressing epitope tagged BRD1-S and BRD1-L were generated and used as discovery systems for identifying protein and chromatin interactions. Protein-protein interactions were identified using co-immunoprecipitation followed by mass spectrometry and chromatin interactions were identified using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing. Gene expression profiles and differentially expressed genes were identified after upregulating and downregulating BRD1 expression using microarrays. The presented functional molecular data were integrated with human genomic and transcriptomic data using available GWAS, exome-sequencing datasets as well as spatiotemporal transcriptomic datasets from the human brain.
Results: We present several novel protein interactions of BRD1, including isoform-specific interactions as well as proteins previously implicated with mental disorders. By BRD1-S and BRD1-L chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next generation sequencing we identified binding to promoter regions of 1540 and 823 genes, respectively, and showed correlation between BRD1-S and BRD1-L binding and regulation of gene expression. The identified BRD1 interaction network was found to be predominantly co-expressed with BRD1 mRNA in the human brain and enriched for pathways involved in gene expression and brain function. By interrogation of large datasets from genome-wide association studies, we further demonstrate that the BRD1 interaction network is enriched for schizophrenia risk.
Conclusion: Our results show that BRD1 interacts with chromatin remodeling proteins, e.g. PBRM1, as well as histone modifiers, e.g. MYST2 and SUV420H1. We find that BRD1 primarily binds in close proximity to transcription start sites and regulates expression of numerous genes, many of which are involved with brain development and susceptibility to mental disorders. Our findings indicate that BRD1 acts as a regulatory hub in a comprehensive schizophrenia risk network which plays a role in many brain regions throughout life, implicating e.g. striatum, hippocampus, and amygdala at mid-fetal stages.
Keywords: Chip-seq; Functional genomics; Interactome; Mental disorders; Proteomics; Regulome; Schizophrenia.