We identified a sperm-specific methylation imprint mark (Site II) associated with a short tandem repeat sequence and a site/region methylated in both gametes (Site I) in the Grf1 locus on mouse chromosome 9, which shared a common feature with the U2afbp-rs gene. Sites or regions of gamete- specific methylation in imprinted genes are strong candidates for carrying information regarding the parental origin of alleles. The gamete-specific methylation pattern of Sites I and II was conserved after fertilization, but attained the somatic cell pattern by the blastocyst stage. In primordial germ cells, Site I was methylated, but Site II was unmethylated in both male and female embryos, suggesting that the sperm-specific methylation imprint mark in Site II was established during spermatogenesis. These common features in methylation imprint regions may be a clue to identifying regions carrying primary information for the imprinting regulation.
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