Deletion of Peg10, an imprinted gene acquired from a retrotransposon, causes early embryonic lethality.
ABSTRACT By comparing mammalian genomes, we and others have identified actively transcribed Ty3/gypsy retrotransposon-derived genes with highly conserved DNA sequences and insertion sites. To elucidate the functions of evolutionarily conserved retrotransposon-derived genes in mammalian development, we produced mice that lack one of these genes, Peg10 (paternally expressed 10), which is a paternally expressed imprinted gene on mouse proximal chromosome 6. The Peg10 knockout mice showed early embryonic lethality owing to defects in the placenta. This indicates that Peg10 is critical for mouse parthenogenetic development and provides the first direct evidence of an essential role of an evolutionarily conserved retrotransposon-derived gene in mammalian development.
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ABSTRACT: Given the possible critical importance of placental gene imprinting and random monoallelic expression on fetal and infant health, most of those genes must be identified, in order to understand the risks that the baby might meet during pregnancy and after birth. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to introduce a workflow and tools for analyzing imprinted and random monoallelic gene expression in human placenta, by applying whole-transcriptome (WT) RNA sequencing of placental tissue and genotyping of coding DNA variants in family trios. Ten family trios, each with a healthy spontaneous single-term pregnancy, were recruited. Total RNA was extracted for WT analysis, providing the full sequence information for the placental transcriptome. Parental and child blood DNA genotypes were analyzed by exome SNP genotyping microarrays, mapping the inheritance and estimating the abundance of parental expressed alleles. Imprinted genes showed consistent expression from either parental allele, as demonstrated by the SNP content of sequenced transcripts, while monoallelically expressed genes had random activity of parental alleles. We revealed 4 novel possible imprinted genes (LGALS8, LGALS14, PAPPA2 and SPTLC3) and confirmed the imprinting of 4 genes (AIM1, PEG10, RHOBTB3 and ZFAT-AS1) in human placenta. The major finding was the identification of 4 genes (ABP1, BCLAF1, IFI30 and ZFAT) with random allelic bias, expressing one of the parental alleles preferentially. The main functions of the imprinted and monoallelically expressed genes included: i) mediating cellular apoptosis and tissue development; ii) regulating inflammation and immune system; iii) facilitating metabolic processes; and iv) regulating cell cycle.Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 10/2014; 9(10):1397-409. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mammalian genomes comprise many active and fossilized retroelements. The obligate requirement for retroelement integration affords host genomes an opportunity to 'domesticate' retroelement genes for their own purpose, leading to important innovations in genome defense and placentation. While many such exaptations involve retroviruses, the L1TD1 gene is the only known domesticated gene whose protein-coding sequence is almost entirely derived from a LINE-1 (L1) retroelement. Human L1TD1 has been shown to play an important role in pluripotency maintenance. To investigate how this role was acquired, we traced the origin and evolution of L1TD1. We find that L1TD1 originated in the common ancestor of eutherian mammals, but was lost or pseudogenized multiple times during mammalian evolution. We also find that L1TD1 has evolved under positive selection during primate and mouse evolution, and that one prosimian L1TD1 has 'replenished' itself with a more recent L1 ORF1 from the prosimian genome. These data suggest that L1TD1 has been recurrently selected for functional novelty, perhaps for a role in genome defense. L1TD1 loss is associated with L1 extinction in several megabat lineages, but not in sigmodontine rodents. We hypothesize that L1TD1 could have originally evolved for genome defense against L1 elements. Later, L1TD1 may have become incorporated into pluripotency maintenance in some lineages. Our study highlights the role of retroelement gene domestication in fundamental aspects of mammalian biology, and that such domesticated genes can adopt different functions in different lineages.PLoS Genetics 09/2014; 10(9):e1004531. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Genomic imprinting is an inheritance phenomenon by which a subset of genes are expressed from one allele of two homologous chromosomes in a parent of origin-specific manner. Even though fine-tuned regulation of genomic imprinting process is essential for normal development, no other means are available to study genomic imprinting in human during embryonic development. In relation with this bottleneck, differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into specialized lineages may be considered as an alternative to mimic human development. In this study, hESCs were differentiated into three lineage cell types to analyze temporal and spatial expression of imprinted genes. Of 19 imprinted genes examined, 15 imprinted genes showed similar transcriptional level among two hESC lines and two human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines. Expressional patterns of most imprinted genes were varied in progenitors and fully differentiated cells which were derived from hESCs. Also, no consistence was observed in the expression pattern of imprinted genes within an imprinting domain during in vitro differentiation of hESCs into three lineage cell types. Transcriptional expression of imprinted genes is regulated in a cell type- specific manner in hESCs during in vitro differentiation.International journal of stem cells. 11/2014; 7(2):108-117.