Epigenetic regulation of monoallelic gene expression
Version of Record online: 16 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2012 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Special Issue: RNA and Development
Volume 54, Issue 1, pages 120–128, January 2012
How to Cite
Shiba, H. and Takayama, S. (2012), Epigenetic regulation of monoallelic gene expression. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 54: 120–128. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2011.01317.x
- Issue online: 16 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 16 JAN 2012
- Received 26 September 2011; revised 31 October 2011; accepted 1 November 2011.
- dominance relationships;
- RNA-directed DNA methylation;
- trans-acting small RNA
Monoallelic expression from biallelic genes is frequently observed in diploid eukaryotic organisms. Classic examples of this phenomenon include the well-characterized cases of genomic imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. However, recent studies have shown that monoallelic expression is widespread in autosomal genes. This discovery was met with great interest because it represents another mechanism to generate diversity in gene expression that can affect cell fate and physiology. To date, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are largely unknown. In our original study describing the dominant/recessive relationships of pollen-determinant alleles in Brassica self-incompatibility, we found that the recessive allele was specifically methylated and silenced through the action of small RNA derived from the dominant allele. In this review, we focus on recent studies of monoallelic expression in autosomal genes, and discuss the possible mechanisms driving this form of monoallelic gene suppression.