Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.340, No.1, 83-89, 2006
Methylation changes of H-19 gene in sperms of X-irradiated mouse and maintenance in offspring
The nature of imprinting is just differential methylation of imprinted genes. Unlike the non-imprinted genes, the methylation pattern of imprinted genes established during the period of gametogenesis remains unchangeable after fertilization and during embryo development. It implies that gametogenesis is the key stage for methylation pattern of imprinted genes. The imprinting interfered by exogenous factors during this stage could be inherited to offspring and cause genetic effect. Now many studies have proved that ionizing irradiation could disturb DNA methylation. Here we choose BALB/c mice as a research model and X-ray as interfering source to further clarify it. We discovered that the whole-body irradiation of X-ray to male BALB/c mice could influence the methylation pattern of H-19 gene in sperms, which resulted in some cytosines of partial CpG islands in the imprinting control region could not transform to methylated cytosines. Furthermore, by copulating the interfered male mice with normal female, we analyzed the promoter methylation pattern of H 19 in offspring fetal liver and compared the same to the pattern of male parent in sperms. We found that the majority of methylation changes in offspring liver were related to the ones in their parent sperms. Our data proved that the changes of the H19 gene methylation pattern interfered by X-ray irradiation could be transmitted and maintained in the first-generation offspring. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.