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Stability and Lability of Parental Methylation Imprints in Development and Disease

Institute of Molecular Genetics (IGMM), CNRS, University of Montpellier, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier, France
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Genes 2019, 10(12), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10120999
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 27 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Methylation in Health and Diseases)
DNA methylation plays essential roles in mammals. Of particular interest are parental methylation marks that originate from the oocyte or the sperm, and bring about mono-allelic gene expression at defined chromosomal regions. The remarkable somatic stability of these parental imprints in the pre-implantation embryo—where they resist global waves of DNA demethylation—is not fully understood despite the importance of this phenomenon. After implantation, some methylation imprints persist in the placenta only, a tissue in which many genes are imprinted. Again here, the underlying epigenetic mechanisms are not clear. Mouse studies have pinpointed the involvement of transcription factors, covalent histone modifications, and histone variants. These and other features linked to the stability of methylation imprints are instructive as concerns their conservation in humans, in which different congenital disorders are caused by perturbed parental imprints. Here, we discuss DNA and histone methylation imprints, and why unravelling maintenance mechanisms is important for understanding imprinting disorders in humans.
Keywords: DNA methylation; histone methylation; Polycomb; genomic imprinting; ICR; DMR; imprinting disorders; evolution DNA methylation; histone methylation; Polycomb; genomic imprinting; ICR; DMR; imprinting disorders; evolution
MDPI and ACS Style

Farhadova, S.; Gomez-Velazquez, M.; Feil, R. Stability and Lability of Parental Methylation Imprints in Development and Disease. Genes 2019, 10, 999.

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