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Parental allele specific methylation of the human insulin-like growth factor II gene and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
  1. H Schneid,
  2. D Seurin,
  3. M P Vazquez,
  4. M Gourmelen,
  5. S Cabrol,
  6. Y Le Bouc
  1. Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Unité 142 Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.


    In an attempt to elucidate the role of methylation in parental imprinting at the IGF-II gene locus, for which imprinting has already been described in the mouse, we undertook an allele specific methylation study of the human IGF-II gene (mapped to 11p15.5) in a control population and in patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome. In control leucocyte DNA (16 unrelated adults and eight families), the maternal allele of the IGF-II gene was specifically hypomethylated, whereas no such allele specific methylation was found for either the insulin or the calcitonin genes which are located in 11p15.5 and 11p15.1, respectively. Furthermore, the IGF-II gene specific hypomethylation was localised on the 5' portion of exon 9. In the patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome in which the IGF-II gene is thought to be involved and where paternal isodisomy has been described, hypomethylation of the maternal allele was conserved in leucocyte DNA, but abnormal methylation was detected in malformed tissues where the paternal allele was also demethylated. Some specific mechanism linked to methylation therefore seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.

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