, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 801-814
Date: 29 Oct 2005

BEGAIN : A novel imprinted gene that generates paternally expressed transcripts in a tissue- and promoter-specific manner in sheep

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In this article we describe the organization of the ovine BEGAIN gene, located 138 kb proximally from the imprinted DLK1 gene and 203 kb from the CLPG mutation that causes the callipyge phenotype. We have shown that in sheep BEGAIN is ubiquitously expressed, including in skeletal muscle, throughout development. We have identified four major BEGAIN transcripts resulting from a combination of alternate promoter usage and alternative splicing. In ovine brain, kidney, liver, and skeletal muscle, these four BEGAIN transcripts exhibited paternal or biallelic expression in a tissue- and promoter-specific manner. Our results indicate that the CLPG mutation does not alter transcript levels of BEGAIN, contrary to its effect on a core cluster of genes in the DLK1-GTL2 domain. Thus, although the BEGAIN gene represents another paternally expressed gene in the ovine DLK1-GTL2 imprinted domain, its expression is not governed by the long-range regulatory element that contains the CLPG mutation.