A number of genes in the human and mouse genomes are subject to genomic imprinting, with selective inactivation of one allele of a gene in a parent-of-origin specific manner. One of the first imprinted genes identified was the Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 gene (IGF2), which promotes growth of the fetus and is expressed from only the paternal allele in most tissues in both the mouse and human. The aim of this study was to establish the imprinting status of IGF2 in sheep (Ovis aries). Sheep provide an interesting model to study imprinting, owing to differences in their placental development and the fact that they have been subject to strong artificial selection for various production traits. We report the identification of a length polymorphism in the transcribed 3′-untranslated region of the ovine IGF2 gene. This polymorphism was used to map IGF2 to sheep Chromosome (Chr) 21 and demonstrate that IGF2 is indeed imprinted in sheep, being expressed from the paternal allele. We also report that the developmental switch from imprinted IGF2 expression in the fetal liver to biallelic IGF2 expression in the adult liver, which occurs in the human but not mouse, also occurs in sheep. Differences in male- and female-specific recombination values reported around the IGF2 locus in the human were also observed around the ovine IGF2 locus. The techniques developed in this study will enable the imprinting status of IGF2 to be assessed in a variety of tissues and stages of development in normal sheep.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 11, 2014
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