Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 1991 Jul 12;66(1):77-83.

Parental-specific methylation of an imprinted transgene is established during gametogenesis and progressively changes during embryogenesis.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


Genomic imprinting is a regulatory process that requires a cell to recognize the parental origin of alleles. To understand how these alleles are distinguished, we have assessed changes in the DNA methylation of an imprinted transgene as it switches from one inheritance pattern to another while moving through gametogenesis and embryogenesis. We find that both maternally and paternally inherited methylation patterns are erased in primordial germ cells and that distinctive patterns emerge during germ cell maturation. In the case of the maternal allele, the methylation pattern is fully acquired during oogenesis. In the case of the paternal allele, the methylation pattern found in sperm undergoes further modification during embryogenesis. Thus, the distinction between "erased" maternal and paternal alleles is first established during their residence in different germ cells and then may be maintained by the recognition of the distinctive patterns that each allele displays in the zygote.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center