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INTRODUCTION Transposable elements (TEs), repeat expansions, and repeat-mediated structural rearrangements play key roles in chromosome structure and species evolution, contribute to human genetic variation, and substantially influence human health through copy number variants, structural variants, insertions, deletions, and alterations to gene transcription and splicing. Despite their formative role in genome stability, repetitive regions have been relegated to gaps and collapsed regions in human genome reference GRCh38 owing to the technological limitations during its development. The lack of linear sequence in these regions, particularly in centromeres, resulted in the inability to fully explore the repeat content of the human genome in the context of both local and regional chromosomal environments. RATIONALE Long-read sequencing supported the complete, telomere-to-telomere (T2T) assembly of the pseudo-haploid human cell line CHM13. This resource affords a genome-scale assessment of all human repetitive sequences, including TEs and previously unknown repeats and satellites, both within and outside of gaps and collapsed regions. Additionally, a complete genome enables the opportunity to explore the epigenetic and transcriptional profiles of these elements that are fundamental to our understanding of chromosome structure, function, and evolution. Comparative analyses reveal modes of repeat divergence, evolution, and expansion or contraction with locus-level resolution. RESULTS We implementedmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by the loss of function from the maternal allele of UBE3A , a gene encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase. UBE3A is only expressed from the maternally inherited allele in mature human neurons due to tissue-specific genomic imprinting. Imprinted expression of UBE3A is restricted to neurons by expression of UBE3A antisense transcript ( UBE3A-ATS ) from the paternally inherited allele, which silences the paternal allele of UBE3A in cis . However, the mechanism restricting UBE3A-ATS expression and UBE3A imprinting to neurons is not understood. We used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing to functionally define a bipartite boundary element critical for neuron-specific expression of UBE3A-ATS in humans. Removal of this element led to up-regulation of UBE3A-ATS without repressing paternal UBE3A . However, increasing expression of UBE3A-ATS in the absence of the boundary element resulted in full repression of paternal UBE3A , demonstrating that UBE3A imprinting requires both the loss of function from the boundary element as well as the up-regulation of UBE3A-ATS . These results suggest that manipulation of the competition between UBE3A-ATS and UBE3A may provide a potential therapeutic approach for AS.