Transgenic mice mimic the methylation pattern of the human HLA-DRα gene

Giordana Feriotto, Laura Pozzi, Roberta Piva, Francesco Deledda, Rafaella Barbieri, Claudio Nastruzzi, Alessandra Ciucci, Pier Giorgio Natali, Patrizio Giacomini, Roberto Gambari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The methylation pattern of the human HLA-DRα gene has been studied in different tissues of transgenic mice. Offspring from two transgenic lines was selected for this analysis, carrying the integrated HLA-DRα gene in either single or multiple (8-10) copies per diploid genome. In transgenic animals two distinct methylation patterns of the HLA-DRα gene are generated, due to a complete methylation of all the GCGC and CCGG sites the former, and to unmethylation restricted to one or both the GCGC sites located in the 5′ portion of the HLA-DRα gene, the latter. Unmethylation restricted to the 5′ portion of the HLA-DRα gene is a highly conserved feature in human tissues and in vitro cultured cell lines; therefore, it is concluded that the methylation pattern of the human HLA-DRα transgene may be faithfully reconstituted in transgenic animals. Northern blotting analysis of the RNA isolated from tissues of the transgenic mouse carrying single-copy HLA-DRα transgene demonstrates its tissue specific expression, suggesting that transgenic mice may represent an "in vivo" experimental system to study the relationship between methylation state and transcriptional activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-466
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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