A tandem repeat array in IG-DMR is essential for imprinting of paternal allele at the Dlk1-Dio3 domain during embryonic development

Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Sep 15;27(18):3283-3292. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy235.


Genomic imprinting is a phenomenon that causes parent-origin-specific monoallelic expression of a small subset of genes, known as imprinted genes, by parentally inherited epigenetic marks. Imprinted genes at the delta-like homolog 1 gene (Dlk1)-type III iodothyronine deiodinase gene (Dio3) imprinted domain, regulated by intergenic differentially methylated region (IG-DMR), are essential for normal development of late embryonic stages. Although the functions of IG-DMR have been reported by generating knockout mice, molecular details of the regulatory mechanisms are not fully understood as the specific sequence(s) of IG-DMR have not been identified. Here, we generated mutant mice by deleting a 216 bp tandem repeated sequence in IG-DMR, which comprised seven repeats of 24 bp motifs, by genome editing technologies. The mutant mice showed that paternal transmission of the deletion allele, but not maternal transmission, induces severe growth retardation and perinatal lethality, possibly due to placental defects. Embryos with a paternally transmitted deletion allele showed biallelic expression of maternally expressed genes and repression of paternally expressed genes. DNA methylation status also showed loss of methylation at IG-DMR and Gtl2-DMR, indicating that the tandem repeat sequence of IG-DMR is one of the functional sequences of IG-DMR, which is required for maintaining DNA methylation imprints of paternal allele at IG-DMR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • DNA, Intergenic / genetics
  • Embryonic Development / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Genomic Imprinting / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Iodide Peroxidase / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences / genetics


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Dlk1 protein, mouse
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • iodothyronine deiodinase type III
  • Iodide Peroxidase