Direct haplotype-resolved 5-base HiFi sequencing for genome-wide profiling of hypermethylation outliers in a rare disease cohort

Warren A. Cheung, Adam F. Johnson, William J. Rowell, Emily Farrow, Richard Hall, Ana S.A. Cohen, John C. Means, Tricia N. Zion, Daniel M. Portik, Christopher T. Saunders, Boryana Koseva, Chengpeng Bi, Tina K. Truong, Carl Schwendinger-Schreck, Byunggil Yoo, Jeffrey J. Johnston, Margaret Gibson, Gilad Evrony, William B. Rizzo, Isabelle ThiffaultScott T. Younger, Tom Curran, Aaron M. Wenger, Elin Grundberg, Tomi Pastinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Long-read HiFi genome sequencing allows for accurate detection and direct phasing of single nucleotide variants, indels, and structural variants. Recent algorithmic development enables simultaneous detection of CpG methylation for analysis of regulatory element activity directly in HiFi reads. We present a comprehensive haplotype resolved 5-base HiFi genome sequencing dataset from a rare disease cohort of 276 samples in 152 families to identify rare (~0.5%) hypermethylation events. We find that 80% of these events are allele-specific and predicted to cause loss of regulatory element activity. We demonstrate heritability of extreme hypermethylation including rare cis variants associated with short (~200 bp) and large hypermethylation events (>1 kb), respectively. We identify repeat expansions in proximal promoters predicting allelic gene silencing via hypermethylation and demonstrate allelic transcriptional events downstream. On average 30–40 rare hypermethylation tiles overlap rare disease genes per patient, providing indications for variation prioritization including a previously undiagnosed pathogenic allele in DIP2B causing global developmental delay. We propose that use of HiFi genome sequencing in unsolved rare disease cases will allow detection of unconventional diseases alleles due to loss of regulatory element activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3090
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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