Parent Category: Laboratoires Published: Thursday, 16 February 2012

Genomic Imprinting and Development



Robert FEIL


 IGMM - UMR 5535

 1919, route de Mende, 34392 Montpellier


Phone: +33 4 34 35 96 63







Our team is interested in genomic imprinting in mammals and how this epigenetic phenomenon contributes to development and disease. So far, about hundred thirty genes have been found to be imprinted in both humans and mice. Most of these are organised in large evolutionarily-conserved chromosomal domains. Our research explores the importance of chromatin and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in the process of genomic imprinting. We investigate the establishment of DNA methylation imprints in germ cells, how these heritable marks mediate imprinted gene expression during embryonic development, and how perturbation of genomic imprinting can lead to disease. Our projects use mostly the mouse as a model system and address three main questions: i) the role of histone methylation and ncRNAs in the establishment of DNA methylation imprints in germ cells, ii) histone methylation and the somatic maintenance of imprints, and iii) ncRNA-mediated control of imprinted gene domains during development.


Keywords: Genomic Imprinting, Development, DNA methylation, Histone methylation, non-coding RNA



Main publications

  • Llères D., Bailly AP, Perrin A, Norman D, Xirodimas DP, Feil, R. (2017). Quantitative FLIM-FRET microscopy to monitor nanoscale chromatin compaction in vivo reveals novel structural roles of condensin complexes. Cell reports, 18, 1791-1803.
  • Auclair G, Borgel J, Sanz LA, Vallet J, Guibert S, Dumas M, Cavelier P, Girardot M, Forné T, Feil R* and Weber M* (2016). EHMT2 directs DNA methylation for efficient gene silencing in mouse embryos. Genome Research, 26, 192-202.
  • Kota SK, Lleres D, Bouschet T, Hirasawa R, Marchand A, Begon-Pescia C, Sanli I, Arnaud P, Journot L, Girardot M and Feil R (2014). ICR non-coding RNA expression controls imprinting and DNA replication at the Dlk1-Dio3 domain. Developmental Cell, 31, 19-33.
  • Feil R and Fraga MF (2012). Epigenetics and the environment: emerging patterns and implications. Nature Reviews Genetics, 13, 97-109.
  • Henckel A, Chebli K, Kota SK, Arnaud P, Feil R (2012). Transcription and histone methylation changes correlate with imprint acquisition in male germ cells. EMBO journal, 31, 606-615.
  • Kota, S.K., Feil, R. (2010). Epigenetic transitions in germ cell development and meiosis. Developmental Cell, 19, 676-686.
  • Nagano T, Mitchell JA, Sanz LA, Pauler F, Ferguson-Smith AC, Feil R, Fraser P (2008). The Air non-coding RNA epigenetically silences transcription by targeting G9a to chromatin. Science 322, 1717-1720.
  • Sanz LA, Chamberlain S, Sabourin J-C, Henckel A, Magnuson T, Hugnot J-P, Feil R* and Arnaud P* (2008). A mono-allelic bivalent chromatin domain controls tissue-specific imprinting at the mouse Grb10 gene. EMBO Journal, 27, 2523-2532.
  • Wagschal, A., Sutherland, H.G., Woodfine, K., Henckel, A., Chebli, K., Schultz R, Oakey, R.J., Bickmore, W.A., and Feil, R. (2008). G9a histone methyltransferase contributes to imprinting in the mouse placenta. Mol. Cell. Biol. 28, 1104-1113.
  • Delaval, K., Govin, J., Cerqueira F, Rousseaux, S., Khochbin S., and Feil, R. (2007). Differential histone modifications mark mouse imprinting control regions during spermatogenesis. EMBO Journal 26, 720-729.
  • Zvetkova, I., Apedaile, A., Ramsahoye, B., Mermoud, J., Crompton, L., John, R., Feil, R., Brockdorff, N. (2005). Global hypomethylation of the genome in XX ES cells. Nature Genetics 37, 1274-1279.
  • Umlauf, D., Goto, Y., Cao, R., Cerqueira, F., Wagschal, A., Zhang, Y., Feil, R. (2004). Imprinting along the Kcnq1 domain on mouse chromosome 7 involves repressive histone methylation and recruitment of Polycomb group complexes. Nature Genetics 36, 1296-3000.


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