Sequence comparison analysis has been carried out for 31 imprinted mouse genes and a set of 150 control genes. The imprinted genes were found to be associated with significantly reduced numbers of short interspersed transposable elements (SINEs), in particular SINE Alu repeats. This is similar to recent analyses of human imprinted genes and supports the suggestion that there is either active selection against SINE elements in imprinted regions or a reduced rate of insertion of these elements. The reduction in numbers of SINEs was more consistent in paternally expressed genes, whereas for maternally expressed genes significantly reduced numbers of SINE-B2 elements were coupled with increased numbers of SINE-B4 and SINE-ID elements. Paternally expressed genes were also found to be associated with a lower GC content. Discriminant analysis revealed that the two sub-groups of imprinted genes can be cleanly separated from each other on the basis of their genomic sequence characteristics and that they tend to localize to different genomic compartments. The differences between the sequence characteristics of imprinted and control genes have also enabled us to develop a discriminant function that can be used in a genome-wide screen to identify candidate imprinted genes.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2002
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