|Tissue-specific regulation of Igf2r/Airn imprinting during gastrulation.
|Year of Publication
|Marcho, C, Bevilacqua, A, Tremblay, KD, Mager, J
BACKGROUND: Appropriate epigenetic regulation of gene expression during lineage allocation and tissue differentiation is required for normal development. One example is genomic imprinting, which is defined as parent-of-origin mono-allelic gene expression. Imprinting is established largely due to epigenetic differences arriving in the zygote from sperm and egg haploid genomes. In the mouse, there are approximately 150 known imprinted genes, many of which occur in imprinted gene clusters that are regulated together. One imprinted cluster includes the maternally expressed Igf2r, Slc22a2, and Slc22a3 genes and the paternally expressed long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Airn. Although it is known that Igf2r and Airn are reciprocally imprinted, the timing of imprinted expression and accompanying epigenetic changes have not been well characterized in vivo. RESULTS: Here we show lineage- and temporal-specific regulation of DNA methylation and histone modifications at the Igf2r/Airn locus correlating with differential establishment of imprinted expression during gastrulation. Our results show that Igf2r is expressed from both alleles in the E6.5 epiblast. After gastrulation commences, the locus becomes imprinted in the embryonic lineage with the lncRNA Airn expressed from the paternal allele and Igf2r restricted to maternal allele expression. We document differentially enriched allele-specific histone modifications in extraembryonic and embryonic tissues. We also document for the first time allele-specific spreading of DNA methylation during gastrulation concurrent with establishment of imprinted expression of Igf2r. Importantly, we show that imprinted expression does not change in the extraembryonic lineage even though maternal DMR2 methylation spreading does occur, suggesting distinct mechanisms at play in embryonic and extraembryonic lineages. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that similar to preimplantation, gastrulation represents a window of dynamic lineage-specific epigenetic regulation in vivo.