In some lines of transgenic mice, the methylation of MspI sites within or adjacent to the transgene locus is affected by the sex of the parent from which the transgene is inherited. These differences are consistent with a role for DNA methylation in genome imprinting. In a previous report, we noted that in one such line, all offspring of females exhibited hypermethylation of the transgene while only some offspring of males carried a hypomethylated transgene. In this report, we provide evidence that this phenomenon is controlled by at least two factors, one of which acts in cis and is dependent on the transgene locus, and one of which acts in trans and is supplied by the maternal genome. We also provide evidence that there are genetic differences between inbred mouse strains in the trans-acting factor.

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