Genomic imprinting in mammals: an interplay between chromatin and DNA methylation?

Trends Genet. 1999 Nov;15(11):431-5. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(99)01822-3.


Most imprinted loci have key regulatory elements that are methylated on only one of the parental chromosomes. For several of these 'differentially methylated regions', recent studies establish that the unmethylated chromosome has a specialized chromatin organization that is characterized by nuclease hypersensitivity. The novel data raise the question of whether specific proteins and associated chromatin features regulate the allele-specificity of DNA methylation at these imprinting control elements.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / chemistry
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genomic Imprinting / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammals / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Deoxyribonuclease I