The loss function of cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) genes leads to most CCM lesions characterized by enlarged leaking vascular lesions in the brain. Although we previously showed that NOGOB receptor (NGBR) knockout in endothelial cells (ECs) results in cerebrovascular lesions in the mouse embryo, the molecular mechanism by which NGBR regulates CCM1/2 expression has not been elucidated. Here, we show that genetic depletion of Ngbr in ECs at both postnatal and adult stages results in CCM1/2 expression deficiency and cerebrovascular lesions such as enlarged vessels, blood-brain-barrier hyperpermeability, and cerebral hemorrhage. To reveal the molecular mechanism, we used RNA-sequencing analysis to examine changes in the transcriptome. Surprisingly, we found that the acetyltransferase HBO1 and histone acetylation were downregulated in NGBR-deficient ECs. The mechanistic studies elucidated that NGBR is required for maintaining the expression of CCM1/2 in ECs via HBO1-mediated histone acetylation. ChIP-qPCR data further demonstrated that loss of NGBR impairs the binding of HBO1 and acetylated histone H4K5 and H4K12 on the promotor of the CCM1 and CCM2 genes. Our findings on epigenetic regulation of CCM1 and CCM2 that is modulated by NGBR and HBO1-mediated histone H4 acetylation provide a perspective on the pathogenesis of sporadic CCMs.


Zhi Fang, Xiaoran Sun, Xiang Wang, Ji Ma, Thomas Palaia, Ujala Rana, Benjamin Miao, Louis Ragolia, Wenquan Hu, Qing Robert Miao


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