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Development. 2001 May;128(10):1881-7.

Non-imprinted Igf2r expression decreases growth and rescues the Tme mutation in mice.

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  • 1Research Institute for Molecular Pathology (IMP), Dr Bohr-Gasse 7, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. Wagner@nt.imp.

Abstract

In the mouse the insulin-like growth factor receptor type 2 gene (Igf2r) is imprinted and maternally expressed. Igf2r encodes a trans-membrane receptor that transports mannose-6-phosphate tagged proteins and insulin-like growth factor 2 to lysosomes. During development the receptor reduces the amount of insulin-like growth factors and thereby decreases embryonic growth. The dosage of the gene is tightly regulated by genomic imprinting, leaving only the maternal copy of the gene active. Although the function of Igf2r in development is well established, the function of imprinting the gene remains elusive. Gene targeting experiments in mouse have demonstrated that the majority of genes are not sensitive to gene dosage, and mice heterozygous for mutations generally lack phenotypic alterations. To investigate whether reduction of Igf2r gene dosage by genomic imprinting has functional consequences for development we generated a non-imprinted allele (R2Delta). We restored biallelic expression to Igf2r by deleting a critical element for repression of the paternal allele (region 2) in mouse embryonic stem cells. Maternal inheritance of the R2Delta allele has no phenotype; however, paternal inheritance results in biallelic expression of Igf2r, which causes a 20% reduction in weight late in embryonic development that persists into adulthood. Paternal inheritance of the R2Delta allele rescues the lethality of a maternally inherited Igf2r null allele and a maternally inherited Tme (T-associated maternal effect) mutation. These data show that the biological function of imprinting Igf2r is to increase birth weight and they also establish Igf2r as the Tme gene.

PMID:
11311167
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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