Zfp57 Exerts Maternal and Sexually Dimorphic Effects on Genomic Imprinting

Zhen Xu, Jiajia Shi, Yu Zhang, Yuhan Liu, Junzheng Zhao, Qian Chen, Chenglin Song, Shuhui Geng, Wei Xie, Feizhen Wu, Yun Bai, Yang Yang, Xiajun Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Zfp57 has both maternal and zygotic functions in mouse. It maintains genomic imprinting at most known imprinted regions and controls allelic expression of the target imprinted genes in mouse embryos. The DNA methylation imprint at many imprinting control regions (ICRs) is lost when both maternal and zygotic Zfp57 are absent in Zfp57 maternal–zygotic mutant mouse embryos. Interestingly, we found that DNA methylation at a few ICRs was partially lost without maternal Zfp57 in Zfp57 heterozygous mouse embryos derived from Zfp57 homozygous female mice. This suggests that maternal Zfp57 is essential for the maintenance of DNA methylation at a small subset of imprinted regions in mouse embryos. This maternal effect of Zfp57 was applied to allelic expression switch as well as expression levels of the corresponding imprinted genes. It is rather surprising that DNA methylation imprint was affected differently at Rasgrf1 and AK008011 imprinted regions in the female or male Zfp57 maternal–zygotic mutant embryos, with more significant loss of DNA methylation observed in the male mutant embryos. Loss of ZFP57 resulted in gender-specific differences in allelic expression switch and expression level changes of some imprinted genes in female or male mutant embryos. These results indicate maternal and sexually dimorphic effects of ZFP57 on genomic imprinting in mouse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number784128
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • WGBS
  • allelic expression, RNA-seq
  • bisulfite sequencing
  • gender, sexually dimorphic
  • genomic imprinting
  • imprinted genes
  • imprinting control region (ICR)
  • maternal effect


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