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Open Access Research article

MacroH2A1 knockdown effects on the Peg3 imprinted domain

Jung Ha Choo12, Jeong Do Kim1 and Joomyeong Kim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803, USA

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, 305-701, South Korea

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:479  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-479

Published: 31 December 2007



MacroH2A1 is a histone variant that is closely associated with the repressed regions of chromosomes. A recent study revealed that this histone variant is highly enriched in the inactive alleles of Imprinting Control Regions (ICRs).


The current study investigates the potential roles of macroH2A1 in genomic imprinting by lowering the cellular levels of the macroH2A1 protein. RNAi-based macroH2A1 knockdown experiments in Neuro2A cells changed the expression levels of a subset of genes, including Peg3 and Usp29 of the Peg3 domain. The expression of these genes was down-regulated, rather than up-regulated, in response to reduced protein levels of the potential repressor macroH2A1. This down-regulation was not accompanied with changes in the DNA methylation status of the Peg3 domain.


MacroH2A1 may not function as a transcriptional repressor for this domain, but that macroH2A1 may participate in the heterochromatin formation with functions yet to be discovered.