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Expression of KCNQ1OT1, CDKN1C, H19, and PLAGL1 and the methylation patterns at the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2 imprinting control regions is conserved between human and bovine

Katherine Marie Robbins, Zhiyuan Chen, Kevin Dale Wells and Rocío Melissa Rivera*

Author Affiliations

Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

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Journal of Biomedical Science 2012, 19:95  doi:10.1186/1423-0127-19-95

Published: 15 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a loss-of-imprinting pediatric overgrowth syndrome. The primary features of BWS include macrosomia, macroglossia, and abdominal wall defects. Secondary features that are frequently observed in BWS patients are hypoglycemia, nevus flammeus, polyhydramnios, visceromegaly, hemihyperplasia, cardiac malformations, and difficulty breathing. BWS is speculated to occur primarily as the result of the misregulation of imprinted genes associated with two clusters on chromosome 11p15.5, namely the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2. A similar overgrowth phenotype is observed in bovine and ovine as a result of embryo culture. In ruminants this syndrome is known as large offspring syndrome (LOS). The phenotypes associated with LOS are increased birth weight, visceromegaly, skeletal defects, hypoglycemia, polyhydramnios, and breathing difficulties. Even though phenotypic similarities exist between the two syndromes, whether the two syndromes are epigenetically similar is unknown. In this study we use control Bos taurus indicus X Bos taurus taurus F1 hybrid bovine concepti to characterize baseline imprinted gene expression and DNA methylation status of imprinted domains known to be misregulated in BWS. This work is intended to be the first step in a series of experiments aimed at determining if LOS will serve as an appropriate animal model to study BWS.

Results

The use of F1 B. t. indicus x B. t. taurus tissues provided us with a tool to unequivocally determine imprinted status of the regions of interest in our study. We found that imprinting is conserved between the bovine and human in imprinted genes known to be associated with BWS. KCNQ1OT1 and PLAGL1 were paternally-expressed while CDKN1C and H19 were maternally-expressed in B. t. indicus x B. t. taurus F1 concepti. We also show that in bovids, differential methylation exists at the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2 ICRs.

Conclusions

Based on these findings we conclude that the imprinted gene expression of KCNQ1OT1, CDKN1C, H19, and PLAGL1 and the methylation patterns at the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2 ICRs are conserved between human and bovine. Future work will determine if LOS is associated with misregulation at these imprinted loci, similarly to what has been observed for BWS.

Keywords:
KvDMR1; H19/IGF2 ICR; KCNQ1OT1; CDKN1C; PLAGL1; Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome; Methylation; Genomic imprinting; Epigenetics; Bovine