Delta-like and Gtl2 are reciprocally expressed differentially methylated linked imprinted genes on mouse chromosome 12
Johnson, M. H.
Ferguson-Smith, A. C.
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The distal portion of mouse chromosome 12 is imprinted. To date, however, Gtl2 is the only imprinted gene identified on chromosome 12. Gtl2 encodes multiple alternatively spliced transcripts with no apparent open reading frame. Using conceptuses with maternal or paternal uniparental disomy for chromosome 12 (UPD12), we found that Gtl2 is expressed from the maternal allele and methylated at the 5' end of the silent paternal allele. A reciprocally imprinted gene, Delta-like (Dlk), with homology to genes involved in the Notch signalling pathway was identified 80 kb upstream of Gtl2. Dlk was expressed exclusively from the paternal allele in both the embryo and placenta, but the CpG-island promoter of Dlk was completely unmethylated on both parental alleles. Rather, a paternally methylated region was identified in the last exon of the active Dlk allele. The proximity, reciprocal imprinting and methylation in this domain are reminiscent of the co-ordinately regulated lgf2-H19 imprinted domain on mouse chromosome 7. Like H19 and lgf2 Gtl2 and Dlk were found to be co-expressed in the same tissues throughout development, though not after birth. These results have implications for the regulation, function and evolution of imprinted domains.