Journal Article

A Novel Imprinted Gene, Encoding a RING Zinc-Finger Protein, and Overlapping Antisense Transcript in the Prader-Willi Syndrome Critical Region

Michelle T. C. Jong, Todd A. Gray, Yonggang Ji, Christopher C. Glenn, Shinji Saitoh, Daniel J. Driscoll and Robert D. Nicholls

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 8, issue 5, pages 783-793
Published in print May 1999 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online May 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/8.5.783
A Novel Imprinted Gene, Encoding a RING Zinc-Finger Protein, and Overlapping Antisense Transcript in the Prader-Willi Syndrome Critical Region

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We describe a complex imprinted locus in chromosome 15q11–q13 that encodes two genes, ZNF127 and ZNF127AS. The ZNF127 gene encodes a protein with a RING (C3HC4) zinc-finger and multiple C3H zinc-finger motifs, the former being closely related to a protein from variola major virus, the smallpox etiological agent. These motifs allow prediction of ZNF127 function as a ribonucleoprotein. The intronless ZNF127 gene is expressed ubiquitously, but the entire coding sequence and 5′ CpG island overlaps a second gene, ZNF127AS, that is transcribed from the antisense strand with a different transcript size and pattern of expression. Allele-specific analysis shows that ZNF127is expressed only from the paternal allele. Consistent with this expression pattern, in the brain the ZNF127 5′ CpG island is completely unmethylated on the paternal allele but methylated on the maternal allele. Analyses of adult testis, sperm and fetal oocytes demonstrates a gametic methylation imprint with unmethylated paternal germ cells. Recent findings indicate that ZNF127 is part of the coordinately regulated imprinted domain affected in Prader-Willi syndrome patients with imprinting mutations. Therefore, ZNF127 and ZNF127AS are novel imprinted genes that may be associated with some of the clinical features of the polygenic Prader-Willi syndrome.

Journal Article.  8282 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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