Development of a monkey model for the study of primate genomic imprinting.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.
Molecular Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.48). 07/2005; 11(6):413-22. DOI: 10.1093/molehr/gah180
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An understanding of the role of imprinted genes in primate development requires the identification of suitable genetic markers that allow analysis of allele-specific expression and methylation status. Four genes, NDN (Necdin), H19, SNRPN and IGF2, known to be imprinted in mice and humans, were selected for study in rhesus monkeys along with two imprinting centres (ICs) associated with the regulation of H19/IGF2, NDN and SNRPN. GAPD was employed as a non-imprinted control gene. Primers designed to amplify polymorphic regions in these genes and ICs were based on human sequences. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood leukocytes of 93 rhesus macaques of Indian or Chinese-origin. Sequence analysis of amplicons resulted in the identification of 32 unique SNPs. Country-of-origin related differences in SNP distributions were evident. Since disruptions in imprinted gene expression and associated developmental abnormalities may result from in vitro embryo manipulation, we also examined imprinting in NDN, H19, SNRPN and IGF2 in rhesus monkey infants produced by natural mating or by ICSI. Muscle biopsies followed by RT-PCR and sequence analysis were performed in four heterozygous animals produced by natural mating and all four genes were expressed monoallelically supporting the conclusion that these genes are normally imprinted in monkeys. In the case of ICSI, five informative infants were selected based on parental analysis. Allele-specific studies indicated that the expected uniparental expression patterns were retained in animals produced from manipulated embryos. Moreover, methylation analysis revealed that CpG islands within H19/IGF2 and SNURF/SNRPN ICs were differentially methylated. The approach described here will allow examination of imprinting in the embryos and embryonic stem cells of the monkey.

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