A survey of tissue-specific genomic imprinting in mammals

Mol Genet Genomics. 2012 Aug;287(8):621-30. doi: 10.1007/s00438-012-0708-6. Epub 2012 Jul 21.


In mammals, most somatic cells contain two copies of each autosomal gene, one inherited from each parent. When a gene is expressed, both parental alleles are usually transcribed. However, a subset of genes is subject to the epigenetic silencing of one of the parental copies by genomic imprinting. In this review, we explore the evidence for variability in genomic imprinting between different tissue and cell types. We also consider why the imprinting of particular genes may be restricted to, or lost in, specific tissues and discuss the potential for high-throughput sequencing technologies in facilitating the characterisation of tissue-specific imprinting and assaying the potentially functional variations in epigenetic marks.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein / genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics


  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein