Articles

< Previous         Next >  
Landscape of genomic imprinting and its functions in the mouse mammary gland
Haibo Xu1,2,† , Lina Zhao1,2,† , Xu Feng1 , Yujie Ma1 , Wei Chen1 , Li Zou1 , Qin Yang1 , Jihong Sun3 , Hong Yu4,* , Baowei Jiao1,5,6,*
1State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
2Kunming College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
3Department of Radiology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310016, China
4Department of General Surgery, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310016, China
5KIZ-CUHK Joint Laboratory of Bioresources and Molecular Research in Common Diseases, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
6Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*Correspondence to:Hong Yu , Email:blueyu000@zju.edu.cn Baowei Jiao , Email:jiaobaowei@mail.kiz.ac.cn
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 12, Issue 11, November 2020, Pages 857-869  https://doi.org/10.1093/jmcb/mjaa020
Keyword: imprinted gene, imprinted gene network, mammary gland, stem cell, differentiation, metabolism

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic modification of DNA, whereby gene expression is restricted to either maternally or paternally inherited alleles. Imprinted genes (IGs) in the placenta and embryo are essential for growth regulation and nutrient supply. However, despite being an important nutrition delivery organ, studies on mammary gland genomic imprinting remain limited. In this study, we found that both the number of IGs and their expression levels decreased during development of the mouse mammary gland. IG expression was lineage-specific and related to mammary gland development and lactation. Meta-analysis of single-cell RNA sequencing data revealed that mammary gland IGs were co-expressed in a network that regulated cell stemness and differentiation, which was confirmed by our functional studies. Accordingly, our data indicated that IGs were essential for the self-renewal of mammary gland stem cells and IG decline was correlated with mammary gland maturity. Taken together, our findings revealed the importance of IGs in a poorly studied nutrition-related organ, i.e. the mammary gland, thus providing a reference for further studies on genomic imprinting.