Coordinated allele-specific histone acetylation at the differentially methylated regions of imprinted genes

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Dec;38(22):7974-90. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq680. Epub 2010 Aug 6.


Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic inheritance system characterized by parental allele-specific gene expression. Allele-specific DNA methylation and chromatin composition are two epigenetic modification systems that control imprinted gene expression. To get a general assessment of histone lysine acetylation at imprinted genes we measured allele-specific acetylation of a wide range of lysine residues, H3K4, H3K18, H3K27, H3K36, H3K79, H3K64, H4K5, H4K8, H4K12, H2AK5, H2BK12, H2BK16 and H2BK46 at 11 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in reciprocal mouse crosses using multiplex chromatin immunoprecipitation SNuPE assays. Histone acetylation marks generally distinguished the methylation-free alleles from methylated alleles at DMRs in mouse embryo fibroblasts and embryos. Acetylated lysines that are typically found at transcription start sites exhibited stronger allelic bias than acetylated histone residues in general. Maternally methylated DMRs, that usually overlap with promoters exhibited higher levels of acetylation and a 10% stronger allele-specific bias than paternally methylated DMRs that reside in intergenic regions. Along the H19/Igf2 imprinted domain, allele-specific acetylation at each lysine residue depended on functional CTCF binding sites in the imprinting control region. Our results suggest that many different histone acetyltransferase and histone deacetylase enzymes must act in concert in setting up and maintaining reciprocal parental allelic histone acetylation at DMRs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / immunology
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / genetics
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism


  • CCCTC-Binding Factor
  • Ctcf protein, mouse
  • H19 long non-coding RNA
  • Histones
  • IGF2 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II
  • Lysine