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Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Dec;29(12):3711-9. doi: 10.1093/molbev/mss173. Epub 2012 Jul 10.

GRB10 imprinting is eutherian mammal specific.

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ARC Centre of Excellence in Kangaroo Genomics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


GRB10 is an imprinted gene differently expressed from two promoters in mouse and human. Mouse Grb10 is maternally expressed from the major promoter in most tissues and paternally expressed from the brain-specific promoter within specific regions of the fetal and adult central nervous system. Human GRB10 is biallelically expressed from the major promoter in most tissues except in the placental villus trophoblast where it is maternally expressed, whereas the brain-specific promoter is paternally expressed in the fetal brain. This study characterized the ortholog of GRB10 in a marsupial, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) to investigate the origin and evolution of imprinting at this locus. The protein coding exons and predicted amino acid sequence of tammar GRB10 were highly conserved with eutherian GRB10. The putative first exon, which is located in the orthologous region to the eutherian major promoter, was found in the tammar, but no exon was found in the downstream region corresponding to the eutherian brain-specific promoter, suggesting that marsupials only have a single promoter. Tammar GRB10 was widely expressed in various tissues including the brain but was not imprinted in any of the tissues examined. Thus, it is likely that GRB10 imprinting evolved in eutherians after the eutherian-marsupial divergence approximately 160 million years ago, subsequent to the acquisition of a brain-specific promoter, which resides within the imprinting control region in eutherians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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