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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of H19 and Igf2 genes in uniparental mouse ES cells during in vitro and in vivo differentiation.

Genomic imprinting is a process that results in the differential expression of genes according to their parental inheritance. Two imprinted genes, insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2) and H19 are closely linked on mouse chromosome 7, and are expressed from the paternal and maternal alleles, respectively. The genes show striking similarity in their tissue-specific expression patterns, which led to the proposal that their transcription is controlled by a common regulatory domain that enables only one gene to be active from each chromosome. Evidence is accumulating, however, that the expression of H19 and Igf2 genes is not always from their respective maternal and paternal alleles. This suggests that their expression is regulated independently of imprinting in some tissues and teratomas. We have analysed the extent of non-imprinted expression of H19 and Igf2 in uniparental mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells during in vitro differentiation, and differentiation in teratomas using Northern blot and in situ hybridisation analysis. The expression patterns observed indicate that both imprinting and non-imprinting mechanisms regulate transcription of these genes. Expression of one or the other gene was observed in certain cell types in differentiated cultures and in teratomas, suggesting that imprinting regulates the expression of H19 and Igf2 genes in some differentiating cell lineages. At the same time, in other subpopulations of cells, co-expression of both genes was observed, demonstrating that the expression of these genes is not always regulated by genomic imprinting.[1]


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