Genomic imprinting represents a form of epigenetic control of gene expression in which one allele of a gene is preferentially expressed according to the parent-of-origin of the allele. Genomic imprinting plays an important role in normal growth and development. Disruption of imprinting can result in a number of human imprinting syndromes and predispose to cancer. In this chapter, we describe a number of human imprinting syndromes to illustrate the concepts of genomic imprinting and how loss of imprinting of imprinted genes their relationship to human neoplasia.
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