Transgenic RNAi Reveals Essential Function for CTCF in H19 Gene Imprinting

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Science  09 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5655, pp. 238-240
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090934

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The imprinted regulation of H19 and Insulin-like growth factor 2 expression involves binding of the vertebrate insulator protein, CCCTC binding factor (CTCF), to the maternally hypomethylated differentially methylated domain (DMD). Howthis hypomethylated state is maintained during oogenesis and the role of CTCF, if any, in this process are not understood. With the use of a transgenic RNA interference (RNAi)–based approach to generate oocytes with reduced amounts of CTCF protein, we found increased methylation of the H19 DMD and decreased developmental competence of CTCF-deficient oocytes. Our results suggest that CTCF protects the H19 DMD from de novo methylation during oocyte growth and is required for normal preimplantation development.

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