Diverse mechanisms for epigenetic imprinting in mammals Journal Article uri icon



  • SUMMARYGenomic imprinting and X chromosome inactivation (XCI) require epigenetic mechanisms to direct allele-specific expression. Despite their critical roles in embryonic development, how universal epigenetic regulators coordinate these specific tasks from single locus to chromosome-scale remains understudied. Here, we systematically disrupted multiple essential epigenetic pathways within polymorphic F1 zygotes to examine postimplantation effects on canonical and non-canonical genomic imprinting as well as X chromosome inactivation. We find that DNA methylation and Polycomb group repressors are both indispensable for autosomal imprinting, albeit at distinct gene sets. Moreover, the extraembryonic ectoderm relies on a broader spectrum of unique imprinting mechanisms, including non-canonical targeting of maternal endogenous retrovirus (ERV) driven promoters by G9a. We further utilize our data to identify Polycomb dependent and independent gene clusters on the imprinted X chromosome, which appears to reflect distinct domains of Xist-mediated suppression. Our data has allowed us to assemble a comprehensive inventory of the epigenetic mechanisms utilized in eutherian mammals to maintain parent-specific imprinting, including an expanded view of the placental lineage that comprises multiple unique pathways.

publication date

  • April 30, 2021

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • May 5, 2021 1:22 AM

Full Author List

  • Andergassen D; Smith ZD; Rinn JL; Meissner A

author count

  • 4

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