Transcriptional changes occur presymptomatically and throughout Huntington's disease (HD), motivating the study of transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) in HD We reconstructed a genome-scale model for the target genes of 718 transcription factors (TFs) in the mouse striatum by integrating a model of genomic binding sites with transcriptome profiling of striatal tissue from HD mouse models. We identified 48 differentially expressed TF-target gene modules associated with age- and CAG repeat length-dependent gene expression changes in Htt CAG knock-in mouse striatum and replicated many of these associations in independent transcriptomic and proteomic datasets. Thirteen of 48 of these predicted TF-target gene modules were also differentially expressed in striatal tissue from human disease. We experimentally validated a specific model prediction that SMAD3 regulates HD-related gene expression changes using chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) of mouse striatum. We found CAG repeat length-dependent changes in the genomic occupancy of SMAD3 and confirmed our model's prediction that many SMAD3 target genes are downregulated early in HD.
Keywords: Huntington's disease; SMAD3; transcription factor; transcriptional regulatory networks.
© 2018 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.