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Epigenetics. 2011 Aug;6(8):1012-20. doi: 10.4161/epi.6.8.16075. Epub 2011 Aug 1.

Establishment of paternal allele-specific DNA methylation at the imprinted mouse Gtl2 locus.

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Department of Biology, Bryn Mawr College; Bryn Mawr, PA USA.


The monoallelic expression of imprinted genes is controlled by epigenetic factors including DNA methylation and histone modifications. In mouse, the imprinted gene Gtl2 is associated with two differentially methylated regions: the IG-DMR, which serves as a gametic imprinting mark at which paternal allele-specific DNA methylation is inherited from sperm, and the Gtl2-DMR, which acquires DNA methylation on the paternal allele after fertilization. The timeframe during which DNA methylation is acquired at secondary DMRs during post-fertilization development and the relationship between secondary DMRs and imprinted expression have not been well established. In order to better understand the role of secondary DMRs in imprinting, we examined the methylation status of the Gtl2-DMR in pre- and post-implantation embryos. Paternal allele-specific DNA methylation of this region correlates with imprinted expression of Gtl2 during post-implantation development but is not required to implement imprinted expression during pre-implantation development, suggesting that this secondary DMR may play a role in maintaining imprinted expression. Furthermore, our developmental profile of DNA methylation patterns at the Cdkn1c- and Gtl2-DMRs illustrates that the temporal acquisition of DNA methylation at imprinted genes during post-fertilization development is not universally controlled.

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