Noncanonical Genomic Imprinting Exerts Parental Control in Subsets of Brain Cells (image) University of Utah Health Sciences Share Print E-Mail Caption Typically genes express two copies, one from the mother and one from the father. Genomic imprinting is a mechanism that allows for parental control over gene expression: the copy from one parent is expressed while the other is silenced. Researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine report a targeted version of genomic imprinting in mice that is more common than classic imprinting. Published in Cell Reports, so-called noncanonical imprinting is particularly prevalent in the brain, and skews the genetic message in subpopulations of cells so that mom, or dad, has a stronger say. The left figure shows a subset of brain cells that predominantly express a single copy of the autism-linked gene Ahi1 inherited from one parent (one dot). The right figure shows a subset of brain cells that express both parents' copies of Ahi1 (two dots). Brain cell nuclei are counterstained in blue. Targeted, noncanonical imprinting may be the preferred strategy over silencing one parental gene copy in every tissue. Credit Christopher Gregg, University of Utah Usage Restrictions May use pictures with credit Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.