Robert D. Nicholls

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We report a high-quality draft of the genome sequence of the grey, short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). As the first metatherian ('marsupial') species to be sequenced, the opossum provides a unique perspective on the organization and evolution of mammalian genomes. Distinctive features of the opossum chromosomes provide support for recent theories(More)
Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) has been linked to the onset of diseases in adulthood, including type 2 diabetes, and has been proposed to result from altered gene regulation patterns due to epigenetic modifications of developmental genes. To determine whether epigenetic modifications may play a role in the development of adult diabetes following(More)
Loss of imprinting at IGF2, generally through an H19-independent mechanism, is associated with a large percentage of patients with the overgrowth and cancer predisposition condition Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS). Imprinting control elements are proposed to exist within the KvLQT1 locus, because multiple BWS-associated chromosome rearrangements disrupt(More)
The chromosomal region, 15q11-q13, involved in Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes (PWS and AS) represents a paradigm for understanding the relationships between genome structure, epigenetics, evolution, and function. The PWS/AS region is conserved in organization and function with the homologous mouse chromosome 7C region. However, the primate 4 Mb PWS/AS(More)
The human SNRPN (small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N) gene is one of a gene family that encode proteins involved in pre-mRNA splicing and maps to the smallest deletion region involved in the Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) within chromosome 15q11-q13. Paternal only expression of SNRPN has previously been demonstrated by use of cell lines from PWS(More)
Polycistronic transcripts are common in prokaryotes but rare in eukaryotes. Phylogenetic analysis of the SNRPN (SmN) mRNA in five eutherian mammals reveals a second highly conserved coding sequence, termed SNURF (SNRPN upstream reading frame). The vast majority of nucleotide substitutions in SNURF occur in the wobble codon position, providing strong(More)
Intronless genes can arise by germline retrotransposition of a cDNA originating as mRNA from an intron-containing source gene. Previously, we described several members of a family of intronless mammalian genes encoding a novel class of zinc-finger proteins, including one that shows imprinted expression and one that escapes X-inactivation. We report here the(More)
A subset of patients with Angelman and Prader–Willi syndrome have apparently normal chromosomes of biparental origin, but abnormal DMA methylation at several loci within chromosome 15q11–13, and probably have a defect in imprinting. Using probes from a newly established 160–kb contig including D15S63 (PW71) and SNRPN, we have identified inherited(More)
BACKGROUND Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurobehavioural disorder caused by defects in the maternally derived imprinted domain located on 15q11-q13. Most patients acquire AS by one of five mechanisms: (1) a large interstitial deletion of 15q11-q13; (2) paternal uniparental disomy (UPD) of chromosome 15; (3) an imprinting defect (ID); (4) a mutation in(More)
Microdeletions of a region termed the "imprinting center" (IC) in chromosome 15q11-q13 have been identified in several families with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) or Angelman syndrome who show epigenetic inheritance for this region that is consistent with a mutation in the imprinting process. The IC controls resetting of parental imprints in 15q11-q13 during(More)