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Genomics. 2001 Apr 1;73(1):1-9.

Maternal and paternal chromosomes 7 show differential methylation of many genes in lymphoblast DNA.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Haartman Institute, (Haartmaninkatu 3), Helsinki, FIN-00014, Finland. katariina.hannula@helsinki.fi


Genomic imprinting, the differential expression of paternal and maternal alleles, involves many chromosomal regions and plays a role in development and growth. Differential methylation of maternal and paternal alleles is a hallmark of imprinted genes, and thus methylation assays are widely used to support the identification of novel imprinted genes. Either blood or lymphoblast DNAs are most often used in these assays, even though methylation levels may change in cell culture. We undertook a systematic survey of parent-of-origin-specific methylation of chromosome 7 genes and ESTs by comparing DNA samples from cases of maternal and paternal uniparental disomy for chromosome 7 using DNA from fresh blood and lymphoblast cell lines. Our results revealed that up to 41% of genes and ESTs show parent-of-origin-specific methylation differences in lymphoblast DNA after only a short time in culture, whereas methylation differences were not seen in blood DNA. The methylation changes occurred most commonly on paternal chromosome 7, whereas alterations on maternal chromosome 7 were more infrequent and weaker. These findings indicate that methylation patterns may change significantly during cell culture in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner and suggest that methylation is maintained differently on maternal and paternal chromosomes 7.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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