X-linked imprinting: effects on brain and behaviour

Authors

  • William Davies,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratories of Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience and Developmental Genetics and Imprinting, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
    • The Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Babraham, Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK.
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  • Anthony R. Isles,

    1. Laboratories of Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience and Developmental Genetics and Imprinting, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
    2. Developmental Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
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  • Paul S. Burgoyne,

    1. Division of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
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  • Lawrence S. Wilkinson

    1. Laboratories of Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience and Developmental Genetics and Imprinting, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
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Abstract

Imprinted genes are monoallelically expressed in a parent-of-origin-dependent manner and can affect brain and behavioural phenotypes. The X chromosome is enriched for genes affecting neurodevelopment and is donated asymmetrically to male and female progeny. Hence, X-linked imprinted genes could potentially influence sexually dimorphic neurobiology. Consequently, investigations into such loci may provide new insights into the biological basis of behavioural differences between the sexes and into why men and women show different vulnerabilities to certain mental disorders. In this review, we summarise recent advances in our knowledge of X-linked imprinted genes and the brain substrates that they may act upon. In addition, we suggest strategies for identifying novel X-linked imprinted genes and their downstream effects and discuss evolutionary theories regarding the origin and maintenance of X-linked imprinting. BioEssays 28:35–44, 2006. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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