GNAS is a complex gene that through use of alternative first exons encodes signaling proteins Galpha(s) and XLalphas plus neurosecretory protein NESP55. Tissue-specific expression of these proteins is regulated through reciprocal genomic imprinting in fully differentiated and developed tissue. Mutations in GNAS account for several human disorders, including McCune-Albright syndrome and Albright hereditary osteodystrophy, and further knowledge of GNAS imprinting may provide insights into variable phenotypes of these disorders. We therefore analyzed expression of Galpha(s), NESP55, and XLalphas prior to tissue differentiation in cell cultures derived from human primordia germ cells. We found that the expression of Galpha(s) was biallelic (maternal allele: 52.6%+/- 2.5%; paternal allele: 47.2%+/- 2.5%; p= 0.07), whereas NESP55 was expressed preferentially from the maternal allele (maternal allele: 81.9%+/- 10%; paternal allele: 18.1%+/- 10%; p= 0.002) and XLalphas was preferentially expressed from the paternal allele (maternal allele: 2.7%+/- 0.3%; paternal allele: 97.3%+/- 0.3%; p= 0.007). These results demonstrate that imprinting of NESP55 occurs very early in development, although complete imprinting appears to take place later than 5-11 weeks postfertilization, and that imprinting of XLalphas occurs very early postfertilization. By contrast, imprinting of Galpha(s) most likely occurs after 11 weeks postfertilization and after tissue differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)