The maternally methylated KvDMR1 ICR regulates imprinted expression of a cluster of maternally-expressed genes on human chromosome 11p15.5. Disruption of imprinting leads to Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), an overgrowth and cancer predisposition condition. In the majority of BWS patients, maternal-specific methylation at KvDMR1 is absent and genes under its control are repressed. We analyzed a mouse model carrying a poly(A) truncation cassette inserted to prevent RNA transcripts from elongation through KvDMR1. Maternal inheritance of this mutation resulted in absence of DNA methylation at KvDMR1, which led to biallelic expression of Kcnq1ot1 and suppression of maternally expressed genes. This study provides further evidence that transcription is required for establishment of methylation at maternal gametic DMRs. More importantly, this mouse model recapitulates the molecular phenotypic characteristics of the most common form of BWS including loss of methylation at KvDMR1 and biallelic repression of Cdkn1c, suggesting deficiency of maternal transcription through KvDMR1 may be an underlying cause of some BWS cases.
- Received September 27, 2016.
- Accepted March 23, 2017.