Differentiation of human parthenogenetic pluripotent stem cells reveals multiple tissue- and isoform-specific imprinted transcripts

Cell Rep. 2015 Apr 14;11(2):308-20. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.03.023. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


Parental imprinting results in monoallelic parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression. However, many imprinted genes identified by differential methylation do not exhibit complete monoallelic expression. Previous studies demonstrated complex tissue-dependent expression patterns for some imprinted genes. Still, the complete magnitude of this phenomenon remains largely unknown. By differentiating human parthenogenetic induced pluripotent stem cells into different cell types and combining DNA methylation with a 5' RNA sequencing methodology, we were able to identify tissue- and isoform-dependent imprinted genes in a genome-wide manner. We demonstrate that nearly half of all imprinted genes express both biallelic and monoallelic isoforms that are controlled by tissue-specific alternative promoters. This study provides a global analysis of tissue-specific imprinting in humans and suggests that alternative promoters are central in the regulation of imprinted genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells*
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Protein Isoforms