Abnormal neocortex arealization and Sotos-like syndrome–associated behavior in Setd2 mutant mice

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  01 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 1, eaba1180
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba1180


Proper formation of area identities of the cerebral cortex is crucial for cognitive functions and social behaviors of the brain. It remains largely unknown whether epigenetic mechanisms, including histone methylation, regulate cortical arealization. Here, we removed SETD2, the methyltransferase for histone 3 lysine-36 trimethylation (H3K36me3), in the developing dorsal forebrain in mice and showed that Setd2 is required for proper cortical arealization and the formation of cortico-thalamo-cortical circuits. Moreover, Setd2 conditional knockout mice exhibit defects in social interaction, motor learning, and spatial memory, reminiscent of patients with the Sotos-like syndrome bearing SETD2 mutations. SETD2 maintains the expression of clustered protocadherin (cPcdh) genes in an H3K36me3 methyltransferase–dependent manner. Aberrant cortical arealization was recapitulated in cPcdh heterozygous mice. Together, our study emphasizes epigenetic mechanisms underlying cortical arealization and pathogenesis of the Sotos-like syndrome.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances