Germline pathogenic variants in HNRNPU are associated with alterations in blood methylome

Sunwoo Lee, Eguzkine Ochoa, Magdalena Badura-Stronka, Deirdre Donnelly, Damien Lederer, Sally A. Lynch, Alice Gardham, Jenny Morton, Helen Stewart, France Docquier, Fay Rodger, Ezequiel Martin, Ana Toribio, Eamonn R. Maher, Meena Balasubramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HNRNPU encodes a multifunctional RNA-binding protein that plays critical roles in regulating pre-mRNA splicing, mRNA stability, and translation. Aberrant expression and dysregulation of HNRNPU have been implicated in various human diseases, including cancers and neurological disorders. We applied a next generation sequencing based assay (EPIC-NGS) to investigate genome-wide methylation profiling for >2 M CpGs for 7 individuals with a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with HNRNPU germline pathogenic loss-of-function variants. Compared to healthy individuals, 227 HNRNPU-associated differentially methylated positions were detected. Both hyper- and hypomethylation alterations were identified but the former predominated. The identification of a methylation episignature for HNRNPU-associated neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) implicates HNPRNPU-related chromatin alterations in the aetiopathogenesis of this disorder and suggests that episignature profiling should have clinical utility as a predictor for the pathogenicity of HNRNPU variants of uncertain significance. The detection of a methylation episignaure for HNRNPU-associated NDD is consistent with a recent report of a methylation episignature for HNRNPK-associated NDD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1047
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number9
Early online date5 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit


  • Humans
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenome
  • Germ Cells
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders/genetics


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