A view through the clouds of imprinting.
Burns JL., Jackson DA., Hassan AB.
The purpose of this review is to examine whether our current knowledge of the higher order control of gene expression and nuclear organization can help us understand the mechanisms of genomic imprinting. Imprinting involves the inheritance of a silenced allele of a gene through either a paternal or maternal germline. We have approached the problem of imprinting using a model based on the dynamic attachment of chromatin loops to immobilized RNA polymerases and control elements. We have combined the information from different experimental approaches, examining primarily the IGF2-H19 locus, in an attempt to simplify the complexity of the imprinting data that has accumulated. It is hoped that a unified model may generate predictions amenable to experimental testing and contribute to the interpretation of future experiments.