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Curr Biol. 2008 Nov 25;18(22):1735-41. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.044.

Global survey of genomic imprinting by transcriptome sequencing.

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Rosetta Inpharmatics, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., 401 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Genomic imprinting restricts gene expression to a paternal or maternal allele. To date, approximately 90 imprinted transcripts have been identified in mouse, of which the majority were detected after intense interrogation of clusters of imprinted genes identified by phenotype-driven assays in mice with uniparental disomies [1]. Here we use selective priming and parallel sequencing to measure allelic bias in whole transcriptomes. By distinguishing parent-of-origin bias from strain-specific bias in embryos derived from a reciprocal cross of mice, we constructed a genome-wide map of imprinted transcription. This map was able to objectively locate over 80% of known imprinted loci and allowed the detection and confirmation of six novel imprinted genes. Even in the intensely studied embryonic day 9.5 developmental stage that we analyzed, more than half of all imprinted single-nucleotide polymorphisms did not overlap previously discovered imprinted transcripts; a large fraction of these represent novel noncoding RNAs within known imprinted loci. For example, a previously unnoticed, maternally expressed antisense transcript was mapped within the Grb10 locus. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using transcriptome sequencing for mapping of imprinted gene expression in physiologically normal animals. Such an approach will allow researchers to study imprinting without restricting themselves to individual loci or specific transcripts.

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