Differential Gene Expression of Prdm14 That Could Contribute to Sexual Dimorphisms

Shelby Shajimon, Jackie Huhn, Rachel Werner, Robert Warburton, Nora Engel


Sexual dimorphisms are apparent in differences in disease susceptibilities, types, onset and response to therapy. Previous studies in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells as models of early embryogenesis showed that there were many genes that were differentially expressed in male and female cells. One of these genes codes for Prdm14, a gene involved in the pluripotency state of embryonic stem cells. This study explores the regulatory differences that lead to higher expression of Prdm14 in female ES cells with a dual luciferase reporter assay. The enhancer of Prdm14 harbors motifs responsive to Prdm14 itself, thus establishing an auto-regulatory loop. These motifs were studied, either by deletion or scrambling of the sequence using site-directed mutagenesis. Our data shows that there are significant differences in expression of Prdm14 in XX ESC when compared to XY and XO lines. Thus, it can be concluded that the activity of the Prdm14 enhancer is dosage-sensitive. We also report on experiments designed to detect methylation differences in  XX, XY, and XO ES cell lines.

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