Mammalian imprinted genes, which are expressed from only one of the parental alleles, have a tendency to form clusters and are regulated by long-range mechanisms. Nuclear matrix-attachment regions (MARs), the anchor points of loop domains, are involved in coordination of gene expression and could play a role in regulation of imprinted domains. We have identified and mapped a total of 52 MARs in a 1-Mb imprinted domain on mouse distal chromosome 7 using our cosmid contigs and an in vitro MAR assay. We find two MAR clusters (comprising 20 and 19 MARs), one of which is mapped in the Th-Ins2 intergenic region, coincident with the boundary between the two imprinted subdomains. However, the imprinted/non-imprinted boundaries are not associated with a MAR. Based on the sequence information, we find that many of the MARs are rich in long interspersed nuclear elements. In addition, comparisons of the results obtained with several MAR-prediction software programs reveal good performance of ChrClass in terms of both sensitivity and specificity. This study presents the first large-scale mapping of MARs in an imprinted domain and provides a platform for understanding the roles of MARs in imprinting.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology