Dynamic Regulation of Imprinted Genes across Brain Regions and Developmental Stages


April 2, 2014 - 1:00pm
NW 243
About the Speaker
Julio Perez (Dulac Lab)

Most mammalian genes are equally expressed from the two inherited parental alleles. However, a puzzling subgroup known as imprinted genes are preferentially expressed from either the maternally- or paternally-inherited copy. Interestingly, most imprinted genes identified so far are expressed in the brain and mutations in them cause striking defects in brain development and function that in some cases lead to autism-spectrum disorders. To better understand the extent of genomic imprinting in the brain and its potential roles we are studying the Cerebellum, which provides several experimental advantages and is increasingly associated with autism. Using RNA-Seq we have profiled the maternal and paternal transcriptomes in the developing and adult mouse Cerebellum. We detect 114 genes under imprinting regulation, 49 of which had not been described as imprinted before. Interestingly, the parental biases in approximately 35% of detected genes are regulated according to age. Furthermore, most of these biases substantially fluctuate across adult brain regions and are not observed in other non-brain tissues. Finally, we observed an overrepresentation of genes involved in programed cell death suggesting that the phenomenon of imprinting particularly targets this pathway. I will further examine our results and discuss potential implications for brain function.