Autonomous silencing of the imprinted Cdkn1c gene in stem cells

Michelle D. Wood, Hitoshi Hiura, Simon Tunster, Takahiro Arima, Jong Yeon Shin, Michael Higgins, Rosalind M. John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Parent-of-origin specific expression of imprinted genes relies on the differential DNA methylation of specific genomic regions. Differentially methylated regions (DMrs) acquire DNA methylation either during gametogenesis (primary DMr) or after fertilization when allele-specific expression is established (secondary DMr). Little is known about the function of these secondary DMrs. We investigated the DMr spanning Cdkn1c in mouse embryonic stem cells, androgenetic stem cells and embryonic germ stem cells. in all cases, expression of Cdkn1c was appropriately repressed in in vitro differentiated cells. However, stem cells failed to de novo methylate the silenced gene even after sustained differentiation. in the absence of maintained DNA methylation (Dnmt1-/-), Cdkn1c escapes silencing demonstrating the requirement for DNA methylation in long term silencing in vivo. We propose that post-fertilization differential methylation reflects the importance of retaining single gene dosage of a subset of imprinted loci in the adult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr 1


  • DNA methylation
  • Imprinted
  • Secondary DMR
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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