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Detailed analysis of the methylation patterns of the KvDMR1 imprinting control region of human chromosome 11.

Linda Beatty, Rosanna Weksberg, Paul D Sadowski

Genomics, 2006 Jan , 87, 46-56

The paternal repression of several genes in human chromosome 11p15.5 (mouse chromosome 7) is associated with paternal expression of a transcript called KCNQ1OT1 (also known as LIT1). This long transcript originates from a promoter that resides in a CpG island in intron 10 of the KCNQ1 gene and runs in an antisense orientation to the direction of the coding KCNQ1 transcript. The CpG island is maternally methylated but paternally nonmethylated. The CpG island loses its maternal methylation in over 50% of cases of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome who lack uniparental disomy. This loss is usually accompanied by biallelic expression of the KCNQ1OT1 transcript. We have examined the methylation status of this CpG island in somatic cell hybrids and diploid lymphoblasts using Southern hybridization and bisulfite sequencing techniques. We find that the maternal copy of the CpG island is methylated at all CpGs examined within the CpG island and uniformly paternally unmethylated. In addition, in BWS patients who have lost methylation of the CpG island, this loss occurs throughout the CpG island. Finally, we find that there is a switch in methylation patterns outside the CpG island from maternal methylation within the island to predominantly paternal methylation at sites flanking the CpG island.