Expression at the imprinted Dlk1-Gtl2 locus is regulated by proneural genes in the developing telencephalonMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listJulie Seibt Olivier Armant Anne Le Digarcher Diogo Castro Vidya Ramesh Laurent Journot Francois Guillemot Pierre Vanderhaeghen Tristan Bouschet
Imprinting is an epigenetic mechanism that restrains the expression of about 100 genes to one allele depending on its parental origin. Several imprinted genes are implicated in neurodevelopmental brain disorders, such as autism, Angelman, and Prader-Willi syndromes. However, how expression of these imprinted genes is regulated during neural development is poorly understood. Here, using single and double KO animals for the transcription factors Neurogenin2 (Ngn2) and Achaete-scute homolog 1 (Ascl1), we found that the expression of a specific subset of imprinted genes is controlled by these proneural genes. Using in situ hybridization and quantitative PCR, we determined that five imprinted transcripts situated at the Dlk1-Gtl2 locus (Dlk1, Gtl2, Mirg, Rian, Rtl1) are upregulated in the dorsal telencephalon of Ngn2 KO mice. This suggests that Ngn2 influences the expression of the entire Dlk1-Gtl2 locus, independently of the parental origin of the transcripts. Interestingly 14 other imprinted genes situated at other imprinted loci were not affected by the loss of Ngn2. Finally, using Ngn2/Ascl1 double KO mice, we show that the upregulation of genes at the Dlk1-Gtl2 locus in Ngn2 KO animals requires a functional copy of Ascl1. Our data suggest a complex interplay between proneural genes in the developing forebrain that control the level of expression at the imprinted Dlk1-Gtl2 locus (but not of other imprinted genes). This raises the possibility that the transcripts of this selective locus participate in the biological effects of proneural genes in the developing telencephalon.