Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic mechanism that is important for the development and function of the extra-embryonic tissues in the mouse. Remarkably all the autosomal genes which were found to be imprinted in the trophoblast (placenta) only are active on the maternal and repressed on the paternal allele. It was shown for several of these genes that their paternal silencing is not dependent on DNA methylation, at least not in its somatic maintenance. Rather, recent studies in the mouse suggest that placenta-specific imprinting involves repressive histone modifications and non-coding RNAs. This mechanism of autosomal imprinting is similar to imprinted X chromosome inactivation in the placenta. Although the underlying reasons remain to be explored, this suggests that imprinting in the placenta and imprinted X inactivation are evolutionarily related.
Genomic imprinting in the placenta
Wagschal, A.; Feil, R.
Cytogenet Genome Res
2006 / vol 113 / pages 90-8
IGMM team(s) involved in this publication
Genomic Imprinting and Development
Female; Humans; Animals; Mice; Models, Biological; *Genomic Imprinting; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Pregnancy; Chromosome Mapping; Chromosomes, Human, Pair 10; Placenta/*physiology