Mechanisms of activation of the paternally expressed genes by the Prader-Willi imprinting center in the Prader-Willi/Angelman syndromes domains

Shiri Rabinovitz, Yotam Kaufman, Guy Ludwig, Aharon Razin*, Ruth Shemer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Prader-Willi syndrome/Angelman syndrome (PWS/AS) imprinted domain is regulated by a bipartite imprinting control center (IC) composed of a sequence around the SNRPNpromoter (PWS-IC) and a 880-bp sequence located 35 kb upstream (AS-IC). The AS-IC imprint is established during gametogenesis and confers repression upon PWS-IC on the maternal allele. Mutation at PWS-IC on the paternal allele leads to gene silencing across the entire PWS/AS domain. This silencing implies that PWS-IC functions on the paternal allele as a bidirectional activator. Here we examine the mechanism by which PWS-IC activates the paternally expressed genes (PEGs) using transgenes that include thePWS-IC sequence in the presence or absence of AS-IC and NDN, an upstream PEG, as an experimental model. We demonstrate that PWS-IC is in fact an activator of NDN. This activation requires an unmethylated PWS-IC in the gametes and during early embryogenesis. PWS-IC is dispensable later in development. Interestingly, a similar activation of a nonimprinted gene (APOA1) was observed, implying that PWS-IC is a universal activator. To decipher the mechanism by which PWS-IC confers activation of remote genes, we performed methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) array analysis on lymphoblast cell lines that revealed dispersed, rather than continued differential methylation. However, chromatin conformation capture (3c) experiments revealed a physical interaction between PWS-IC and the PEGs, suggesting that activation of PEGs may require their proximity to PWS-IC.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7403-7408
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 May 2012

Keywords

  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Genomic imprinting

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