The parental allele specificity of mammalian imprinted genes has been evolutionarily well conserved, although its functional constraints and associated mechanisms are not fully understood. In the current study, we generated a mouse mutant with switched active alleles driving the switch from paternal-to-maternal expression for Peg3 and the maternal-to-paternal expression for Zim1. The expression levels of Peg3 and Zim1, but not the spatial expression patterns, within the brain showed clear differences between wild type and mutant animals. We identified putative enhancers localized upstream of Peg3 that displayed allele-biased DNA methylation, and that also participate in allele-biased chromosomal conformations with regional promoters. Most importantly, these data suggest for the first time that long-distance enhancers may contribute to allelic expression within imprinted domains through allele-biased interactions with regional promoters.
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