Chromatin Signature Identifies Monoallelic Gene Expression Across Mammalian Cell Types

G3 (Bethesda). 2015 Jun 18;5(8):1713-20. doi: 10.1534/g3.115.018853.


Monoallelic expression of autosomal genes (MAE) is a widespread epigenetic phenomenon which is poorly understood, due in part to current limitations of genome-wide approaches for assessing it. Recently, we reported that a specific histone modification signature is strongly associated with MAE and demonstrated that it can serve as a proxy of MAE in human lymphoblastoid cells. Here, we use murine cells to establish that this chromatin signature is conserved between mouse and human and is associated with MAE in multiple cell types. Our analyses reveal extensive conservation in the identity of MAE genes between the two species. By analyzing MAE chromatin signature in a large number of cell and tissue types, we show that it remains consistent during terminal cell differentiation and is predominant among cell-type specific genes, suggesting a link between MAE and specification of cell identity.

Keywords: chromatin; epigenetics; gene expression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Epigenomics
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Transcriptome


  • Chromatin
  • Histones