, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp 633-638

Analysis of candidate imprinted genes linked to Dlk1-Gtl2 using a congenic mouse line

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The study of genomic imprinting requires the use of DNA sequence polymorphisms between interfertile mouse species or strains. Most commonly, crosses between Mus musculus domesticus and Mus musculus castaneus or Mus spretus animals are used. Difficulties arise in the maintenance of these wild-derived mice in conventional animal facilities, however, and can be overcome by the use of a congenic strain for the region under study. We describe here the generation of a new mouse line, congenic for a region on distal Chromosome (Chr) 12 that encompasses the Dlk1–Gtl2 imprinted domain. We have taken a first step towards demonstrating the utility of these animals by assaying known genes located within the congenic interval for imprinted expression. We show that the two genes located immediately proximal to Dlk1, the Yy1 and Wars genes, are expressed in a biallelic manner. In addition, we have analyzed the Dio3 gene, located distal to Gtl2. This gene displays preferential expression of the paternal allele, with approximately 75% of the total message level originating from the paternal allele and 25% originating from the maternal allele. These data delineate the position of the Wars gene as the proximal boundary of the Dlk1–Gtl2 imprinted domain, and identify Dio3 as another potentially imprinted gene within this domain.