Folia Histochemica Et Cytobiologica / Polish Academy of Sciences, Polish Histochemical and Cytochemical Society
The insulin-like growth factor-2 (Igf2)-H19 locus encodes important paternally imprinted genes that govern normal embryonic development. While Igf-2 encodes IGF2, which is an autocrine/paracrine mitogen,† transcription of H19 gives rise to non-coding mRNA that is a precursor of several microRNAs (miRNAs) that negatively affect cell proliferation.
Experimental studies demonstrated that maternal exposure to certain environmental and dietary factors during early embryonic development can influence the phenotype of offspring as well as the risk of disease development at the later life. DNA methylation, an epigenetic phenomenon, has been suggested as a mechanism by which maternal nutrients affect the phenotype of their offspring in both honeybee and agouti mouse models.
BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a complex genetic disorder with no clear pattern of inheritance. Epigenetic modification of genes may thus play a role in its transmission. METHODS: In our study, 439 families with at least two ill siblings with schizophrenia (208 with unilineal transmission) were examined for evidence of a parent-of-origin effect (e.g., evidence of parental imprinting on the familial transmission of schizophrenia). RESULTS: No significant difference in the prevalence of maternal compared with paternal transmission was found.
Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon affecting a small number of genes that leads to expression from only one parental allele. Several imprinted genes are important for neurologic development and function and several neurobehavioral disorders are caused by genetic defects involving imprinted genes. For some genes, the imprinting is tissue specific, leading to biallelic expression in some tissues and monoallelic expression in other tissues.
Mammalian Genome: Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) results from loss of function of a 1.0- to 1.5-Mb domain of imprinted, paternally expressed genes in human Chromosome (Chr) 15q11-q13. The loss of imprinted gene expression in the homologous region in mouse Chr 7C leads to a similar neonatal PWS phenotype. Several protein-coding genes in the human PWS region are intronless, possibly arising by retrotransposition. Here we present evidence for continued acquisition of genes by the mouse PWS region during evolution.
OBJECTIVE: Some genome-wide scans and association studies for schizophrenia susceptibility genes have yielded significant positive findings, but there is disagreement between studies on their locations, and no mutation has yet been found in any gene. Since schizophrenia is a complex disorder, a study with sufficient power to detect a locus with a small or moderate gene effect is necessary.
Genetic studies implicating the region of human chromosome 18p11.2 in susceptibility to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have observed parent-of-origin effects that may be explained by genomic imprinting. We have identified a transcriptional variant of the GNAL gene in this region, employing an alternative first exon that is 5' to the originally identified start site. This alternative GNAL transcript encodes a longer functional variant of the stimulatory G-protein alpha subunit, Golf.
The goal of the present study was to investigate parent-of-origin effects in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parent-of-origin effects in ADHD may be due to differences in the relative quantity of risk factors transmitted by each parent. Alternatively, parent-of-origin effects may be produced by qualitative differences in the risks transmitted, such as those carried on the sex chromosomes or regulated by genomic imprinting.
American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part C, Seminars in Medical Genetics
Classical twin studies in the field of psychiatry generally fall into one of two categories: (1) those designed to identify environmental risk factors causing discordance in monozygotic (MZ) twins and (2) those geared towards identifying genetic risk factors. However, neither environment nor differences in DNA sequence can fully account for phenotypic discordance among MZ twins. The field of epigenetics--DNA modifications that can affect gene expression--offers new models to understand discordance in MZ twins.
Imprinted genes, which are thought to comprise <1% of the mammalian genome, are defined by their parent-of-origin specific monoallelic expression arising as a consequence of differential epigenetic marking of alleles in the paternal and maternal germlines. Such genes are highly represented in the brain and placental transcriptomes, and have been shown to exert significant influence on fundamental developmental processes in these organs. Converging evidence from work in man and animal models has shown that imprinted genes can influence a variety of brain and behavioral endophenotypes.