Peg3 (paternally expressed gene 3) is an imprinted gene encoding a DNA-binding protein. This gene plays important roles in controlling fetal growth rates and nurturing behaviors. In the current study, a new mutant mouse model has been generated to further characterize the functions of this DNA-binding protein. Besides known phenotypes, this new mutant model also revealed potential roles of Peg3 in mammalian reproduction. Female heterozygotes produce a much smaller number of mature oocytes than the wild-type littermates, resulting in reduced litter sizes. According to genome-wide expression analyses, several placenta-specific gene families are de-repressed in the brain of Peg3 heterozygous embryos, including prolactin, cathepsin and carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule (Ceacam) families. The observed derepression is more pronounced in females than in males. The de-repression of several members of these gene families is observed even in the adult brain, suggesting potential defects in epigenetic setting of the placenta-specific gene families in the Peg3 mutants. Overall, these results indicate that Peg3 likely controls the transcription of several placenta-specific gene families, and further suggest that this predicted transcriptional control by Peg3 might be mediated through unknown epigenetic mechanisms. © 2013 Kim et al.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Kim, J., Frey, W., He, H., Kim, H., Ekram, M., Bakshi, A., Faisal, M., Perera, B., Ye, A., & Teruyama, R. (2013). Peg3 mutational effects on reproduction and placenta-specific gene families. PLoS ONE, 8 (12) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0083359