Research Summary: Regulatory Elements Associated with Paternally-Expressed Genes in the Imprinted Murine Angelman/Prader-Willi Syndrome Domain


The Angelman/Prader-Willi syndrome (AS/PWS) domain contains at least 8 imprinted genes regulated by a bipartite imprinting center (IC) associated with the SNRPN gene. One component of the IC, the PWS-IC, governs the paternal epigenotype and expression of paternal genes. The mechanisms by which imprinting and expression of paternal genes within the AS/PWS domain – such as MKRN3 and NDN – are regulated by the PWS-IC are unclear. The syntenic region in the mouse is organized and imprinted similarly to the human domain with the murine PWS-IC defined by a 6 kb interval within the Snrpn locus that includes the promoter. To identify regulatory elements that may mediate PWS-IC function, we mapped the location and allele-specificity of DNase I hypersensitive (DH) sites within the PWS-IC in brain cells, then identified transcription factor binding sites within a subset of these DH sites. Six major paternal-specific DH sites were detected in the Snrpn gene, five of which map within the 6 kb PWS-IC. We postulate these five DH sites represent functional components of the murine PWS-IC. Analysis of transcription factor binding within multiple DH sites detected nuclear respiratory factors (NRF’s) and YY1 specifically on the paternal allele. NRF’s and YY1 were also detected in the paternal promoter region of the murine Mrkn3 and Ndn genes. These results suggest that NRF’s and YY1 may facilitate PWS-IC function and coordinately regulate expression of paternal genes. The presence of NRF’s also suggests a link between transcriptional regulation within the AS/PWS domain and regulation of respiration. 3C analyses indicated Mkrn3 lies in close proximity to the PWS-IC on the paternal chromosome, evidence that the PWS-IC functions by allele-specific interaction with its distal target genes. This could occur by allele-specific co-localization of the PWS-IC and its target genes to transcription factories containing NRF’s and YY1.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 4-February-2013

Author(s): Rodriguez-Jato S., Shan J., Khadake J., Heggestad A., Ma X., Johnstone K., Resnick J., Yang T.


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