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J Hum Genet. 2013 Jul;58(7):402-9. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2013.51. Epub 2013 May 30.

Epigenetic and genetic alterations of the imprinting disorder Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome and related disorders.

Author information

1
Division of Molecular Genetics and Epigenetics, Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Saga University, Saga, Japan. soejimah@cc.saga-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon that leads to parent-specific differential expression of a subset of genes. Most imprinted genes form clusters, or imprinting domains, and are regulated by imprinting control regions. As imprinted genes have an important role in growth and development, aberrant expression of imprinted genes due to genetic or epigenetic abnormalities is involved in the pathogenesis of human disorders, or imprinting disorders. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a representative imprinting disorder characterized by macrosomia, macroglossia and abdominal wall defects, and exhibits a predisposition to tumorigenesis. The relevant imprinted chromosomal region in BWS is 11p15.5, which consists of two imprinting domains, IGF2/H19 and CDKN1C/KCNQ1OT1. BWS has five known causative epigenetic and genetic alterations: loss of methylation (LOM) at KvDMR1, gain of methylation (GOM) at H19DMR, paternal uniparental disomy, CDKN1C mutations and chromosomal rearrangements. Opposite methylation defects, GOM and LOM, at H19DMR are known to cause clinically opposite disorders: BWS and Silver-Russell syndrome, respectively. Interestingly, a recent study discovered that loss of function or gain of function of CDKN1C also causes clinically opposite disorders, BWS and IMAGe (intrauterine growth restriction, metaphyseal dysplasia, adrenal hypoplasia congenita, and genital anomalies) syndrome, respectively. Furthermore, several clinical studies have suggested a relationship between assisted reproductive technology (ART) and the risk of imprinting disorders, along with the existence of trans-acting factors that regulate multiple imprinted differentially methylated regions. In this review, we describe the latest knowledge surrounding the imprinting mechanism of 11p15.5, in addition to epigenetic and genetic etiologies of BWS, associated childhood tumors, the effects of ART and multilocus hypomethylation disorders.

PMID:
23719190
DOI:
10.1038/jhg.2013.51
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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