Jan 1, 1994

Mechanisms of genomic imprinting in mammals

Current Topics in Developmental Biology
J D Gold, R A Pedersen


This chapter can be summarized by the following main points: Genomic imprinting results in the functional nonequivalence of the maternal and paternal genomes, thereby preventing the development of viable parthenogenotes and androgenotes in eutherian mammals. Imprinting may have arisen as a result of the specialized evolutionary requirements of the parental genomes or may have been an obligatory step in the development of placentation. A substantial proportion of transgenes and a smaller number of endogenous genes demonstrate imprinted pattern of expression in mice and humans. An analysis of DNA methylation in somatic tissues and germ cells during embryonic and postnatal development reveals dynamic changes, particularly during gametogenesis and early embryogenesis. The nature and timing of these changes suggest that DNA methylation may be involved in genomic imprinting. Imprinted genes display complex methylation patterns. Many aspects of these patterns are consistent with a role for methylation in the imprinted phenotype, although it is currently unclear whether methylation functions in the establishment of imprinting or plays a secondary role in the maintenance of the imprinted pattern of expression. Studies underway to identi...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

DNA Methylation [PE]
Protein Methylation
Blastocyst Transfer
DNA Methylation
Small Nuclear Ribonucleoproteins

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