Imprinting in health and disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Anatomy

Abstract

Correct growth of babies in the womb and after birth is of great importance to health and prospects later in life. The particular interactive grouping of investigators on this MRC cooperative, combines basic science (mouse models, cell physiology, molecular genetics) approaches with clinical work (patient cohorts) to work out how a particular class of genes (the imprinted genes) are involved in the control of growth of the baby, the function of and relationship with its placenta, and how mistakes and mutations in these genes can lead to growth and developmental abnormalities and neural disorders. Each of the participating institutes encourages communication of research activities and results to the lay public. This includes proactive and responsive policies for producing press releases and talking to journalists and the media about any research of possible interest to the public. Specific public forums include a Schools Open Science day and participation in National Science Week and talks by scientists about research to school students, adult evening classes and community groups.

Technical Summary

Genomic imprinting is a process that causes genes to be expressed according to their parental origin. This Cooperative Grouping was established in 1999 with the aim of fostering interaction between experimental and clinical studies on genomic imprinting. The key objectives of identifying new imprinted genes, establishing detailed analyses of physiological and developmental pathways of their action in fetal growth, and of identifying imprinting gene defects in the human population, were all achieved. This has put the Cooperative in an excellent position to increase the number of PIs in complementary areas evolving from the existing studies and to tackle a new set of objectives. These are:
(1) the application of critical analysis into growth control from mouse knockout models to normal and aberrant human intrauterine growth,
(2) to explore the action of imprinted signalling pathways in adaptations to early postnatal life,
(3) to explore the action of imprinted genes in brain and behaviour and
(4) to investigate epigenetic mechanisms of imprinted gene expression associated with growth, developmental and behavioural phenotypes.

The new name of the Cooperative, ?Imprinting in Health and Disease? reflects its wider remit while it remains committed to a multidisciplinary approach linking experimental with clinical studies.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Charalambous M (2007) Genomic imprinting, growth control and the allocation of nutritional resources: consequences for postnatal life. in Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity

publication icon
Glass JL (2009) CG dinucleotide periodicities recognized by the Dnmt3a-Dnmt3L complex are distinctive at retroelements and imprinted domains. in Mammalian genome : official journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society

 
Description MRC Collaborative Grant
Amount £734,199 (GBP)
Funding ID G0801156 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2013
 
Description MRC Programme Grant
Amount £2,400,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/K011332/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2017
 
Description TSB grant
Amount £600,000 (GBP)
Organisation Technology Strategy Board (TSB) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2010 
End 03/2013
 
Description Cooperative workshops/meetings 
Organisation Babraham Institute
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution hosted/organised workshops meetings
Collaborator Contribution collaborative interactionscollaborative interactionsgeneration of the Epigenomics Facility, site of next generation sequencing facilitiescollaborative interactionscollaborative interactions
Impact Too numerous to mention without extensive collation from the other Cooperative Groups involved - University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute, Kings College London, Institute of Child Health London, MRC mammalian genetics unit - Harwell, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham.
 
Description Cooperative workshops/meetings 
Organisation MRC Harwell
Department MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution hosted/organised workshops meetings
Collaborator Contribution collaborative interactionscollaborative interactionsgeneration of the Epigenomics Facility, site of next generation sequencing facilitiescollaborative interactionscollaborative interactions
Impact Too numerous to mention without extensive collation from the other Cooperative Groups involved - University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute, Kings College London, Institute of Child Health London, MRC mammalian genetics unit - Harwell, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham.
 
Description Cooperative workshops/meetings 
Organisation University College London
Department Institute of Child Health
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution hosted/organised workshops meetings
Collaborator Contribution collaborative interactionscollaborative interactionsgeneration of the Epigenomics Facility, site of next generation sequencing facilitiescollaborative interactionscollaborative interactions
Impact Too numerous to mention without extensive collation from the other Cooperative Groups involved - University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute, Kings College London, Institute of Child Health London, MRC mammalian genetics unit - Harwell, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham.
 
Description Cooperative workshops/meetings 
Organisation University of Birmingham
Department College of Medical and Dental Sciences
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution hosted/organised workshops meetings
Collaborator Contribution collaborative interactionscollaborative interactionsgeneration of the Epigenomics Facility, site of next generation sequencing facilitiescollaborative interactionscollaborative interactions
Impact Too numerous to mention without extensive collation from the other Cooperative Groups involved - University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute, Kings College London, Institute of Child Health London, MRC mammalian genetics unit - Harwell, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham.
 
Description Cooperative workshops/meetings 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Medicine Manchester
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution hosted/organised workshops meetings
Collaborator Contribution collaborative interactionscollaborative interactionsgeneration of the Epigenomics Facility, site of next generation sequencing facilitiescollaborative interactionscollaborative interactions
Impact Too numerous to mention without extensive collation from the other Cooperative Groups involved - University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute, Kings College London, Institute of Child Health London, MRC mammalian genetics unit - Harwell, University of Manchester, University of Birmingham.
 
Description Epigenetic stability in human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells 
Organisation St Jude Children's Hospital
Department Department of Surgery
Country United States of America 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Initiated iPS cell study
Collaborator Contribution additional programme of work
Impact additional funding from Technology strategy partnership in collaboration with CellCentric, Sigma, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine Cambridge, University College London. Project entitled 'Manufacturing solutions for high value induced pluripotent stem cell products' Total 2.4M pounds
Start Year 2008
 
Description MRC cooperative - extensive collaborations 
Organisation Babraham Institute
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This cooperative group successfully interacted to generate multiple collaborative projects.
Collaborator Contribution too numerous to mention
Impact Publications of the Coordinating PI are listed. Others from members of the cooperative group are too numerous to mention
 
Description multiple interactions with schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Lecture to school children and hosted visit by Finnish school children at Cambridge University. Similar activities at Babraham Institute.

useful experience for schoolchildren
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006