Imprinting of IGF2 P0 transcript and novel alternatively spliced INS-IGF2 isoforms show differences between mouse and human

D. Monk, R. Sanches, P. Arnaud, S. Apostolidou, F. A. Hills, S. Abu-Amero, A. Murrell, H. Friess, W. Reik, P. Stanier, M. Constância, G. E. Moore

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127 Citations (SciVal)


Genomic imprinting is limited to a subset of genes that play critical roles in fetal growth, development and behaviour. One of the most studied imprinted genes encodes insulin-like growth factor 2, and aberrant imprinting and DNA methylation of this gene is associated with the growth disorders Beckwith - Wiedemann and Silver - Russell syndromes and many human cancers. Specific isoforms of this gene have been shown to be essential for normal placental function, as mice carrying paternal null alleles for the Igf2-P0 transcript are growth restricted at birth. We report here the identification of three novel human transcripts from the IGF2 locus. One is equivalent to the mouse Igf2-P0 transcript, whereas the two others (INSIGF long and short) originate from the upstream INS gene that alternatively splices to downstream IGF2 exons. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the complex imprinting of these novel IGF2 transcripts, both the allele-specific expression and methylation for all the IGF2 promoters including P0 and the INSIGF transcripts were analysed in human tissues. Similar to the mouse, the human IGF2-P0 transcript is paternally expressed; however, its expression is not limited to placenta. This expression correlates with tissue-specific promoter methylation on the maternal allele. The two novel INSIGF transcripts reported here use the INS promoter and show highly restricted tissue expression profiles including the pancreas. As previously reported for INS in the yolk sac, we demonstrate complex, tissue-specific imprinting of these transcripts. The finding of additional transcripts within this locus will have important implications for IGF2 regulation in both cancer and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1269
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Sally Newman for technical advice and sequencing, Professor Eammon Maher for the pUPD11 cell line and Dr Gavin Kelsey for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by The Wellcome Trust, SPARKS, IOG Trust, WellBeing and the MRC. P.A. holds a Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant (MERGT-CT-2004-510972). This paper is dedicated to the memory of William Monk.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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