insulin-like growth factor 2
Life and Medical Sciences
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) gene on distal mouse chromosome 7 is expressed predominantly from the paternal allele. In previous studies we identified two regions of paternal allele-specific methylation; one at ˜ 3 kb upstream of promoter 1, and a second in the 3′, coding portion of the gene. The 3′ region is methylated in an expressing tissue (fetal liver), whereas in a non-expressing tissue (fetal brain), it is not methylated. By contrast, in the 5′ region, the paternal allele is highly methylated in all tissues. Here, we have studied another characteristic of chromatin, namely, sensitivity to DNase-1 and have focused our developmental analysis on the two differentially methylated regions of Igf2. In the upstream region, four clustered DNase-I hypersensitive sites (HSS) were detected in embryonic stem (ES) cells and in midgestation embryos, but not in neonatal liver or brain. In promoter 1 (P1), at β 0.3 kb upstream of exon 1, we detected a tissue-specific HSS that was present in neonatal liver, in which P1 is active, but was absent in ES cells, the embryo, and in neonatal brain. No DNase-I HSS were detected in the 3′ differentially methylated region of Igf2. In all these regions, we did not detect differences in DNase-I sensitivity between the parental chromosomes. These results establish major developmental and tissue-specific control of chromatin in the Igf2 locus. The presence of the HSS upstream of Igf2 precedes transcriptional activation of the Igf2 gene and may be indicative of a promoter for another transcript that is transcribed in the opposite direction. The HSS in P1 is largely liver-specific; this promoter therefore is differently regulated than the more general fetal promoters P2 and P3. Whereas methylation can be allele-specific, presumably reflecting the gene imprint, the nuclease sensitivity, as detected by our assay, is not. These results, taken together with previous observations, reveal developmental and tissue-specific complexity in the expression of the parental imprint at the level of chromatin and transcription. We propose that epigenetic features of tissue-specific control and of the control of allelic expression are intricately linked. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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