Genomic imprinting, gene inactivation during gametogenesis, causes maternal and paternal alleles of some genes to function unequally. We examined the possibility of imprinting in insulin genes because the human insulin gene (ins) and its mouse homologue (ins2) are adjacent to the known imprinted genes, igf2 and H19, and because imprinting has been implicated in the transmission of an ins linked risk for Type I diabetes. We show, by single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of cDNAs from parents and progeny of interspecies mouse crosses, that insulin genes are imprinted. While both alleles of the two mouse insulin genes were active in embryonic pancreas, only paternal alleles for both genes were active in the yolk sac.
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Suppression of hyperinsulinaemia in growing female mice provides long-term protection against obesity
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