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Imprinting in Development and Evolution

Dr. Bao-Wei Jiao, Principal Investigator, joined Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences since July of 2013. His research team is mainly interested in regulating mammary gland stem cells by imprinted genes and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). The mechanisms and evolutionary significance of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in development and evolution are his research focus.


Research Interests

1. The impact of imprinted genes on breast development

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon by which certain genes can be expressed in a parent-of-origin-specific manner. Researches show that imprinted genes play important roles in early embryonic development, adult tissues development, certain genetic diseases and tumors. We will characterize functions of imprinted genes through approaches of DNA methylome, transcriptsome analysis and functional procedures in mice and other animals.

2. The working models of lncRNA in breast development

lncRNA is an RNA molecule longer than 200 nucleotides and not translated into a protein. The mechanisms of lncRNAs have been proposed in a range of developmental processes and diseases, but knowledge of the mechanisms by which they act is still surprisingly limited. We will explore this field through comprehensive discussion of the roles of these lncRNAs in mammary gland development.

3. The roles of XCI in mammary gland development

Recently, more and more evidence show that the mammary gland lactation is greatly regulated by epigenetic modification, such as transgenerational inheritance, which is closely linked to another important epigenetic mechanism—XCI in our previous publications. We will focus on analyzing the impacts of XCI in breast and other nutrients organs through analyzing the function of XCI in adult and embryonic tissues by studying the XCI status of breast and placenta in mouse and other model organism. This approach will also offer more comprehensive understanding on sex chromosome evolution by comparing patterns of XCI among different animals, such as tree shrews and macaques, in order to reveal the law of the evolution on X chromosome.



1.  Shin J, Wallingford MC, Gallant J, Marcho C Jiao B, Byron M, Bossenz M, Lawrence JB, Jones S, Mager JBach I. 2013 Rnf12/RLIM is dispensable for X chromosome inactivation in the mouse embryonic epiblast. Nature2014. doi: 10.1038/nature13286.

2.  Jiao B, Güngör C, Johnsen SA, Peters MA, Taniguchi-Ishigaki N, Chen YW, Riethdorf S, Drung A, Shin J, Pagnis R, Pantel K, Tachibana T, Lewis BC, Bach I. 2013. Nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling regulates functional activity of Rnf12/RLIM. Mol Biol Cell, 24(19):3085-96.

3.  Jiao B, Ma H, Shokhirev M, Drung A, Yang Q, Shin J, Lu S, Byron M, Kalantry S, Mercurio AM, Lawrence JB, Hoffmann A, Bach I. 2012. Paternal RLIM/Rnf12 is a survival factor for milk-producing alveolar cells. Cell, 149:630-41.

4.  Li MH, Wu FR, Gu Y, Wang TR, Wang H, Yang SJ, Sun YL, Zhou LY, Huang XG, Jiao B, Cheng CH, Wang DS. 2012. Insulin-Like Growth Factor 3 Regulates Expression of Genes Encoding Steroidogenic Enzymes and Key Transcription Factors in the Nile Tilapia Gonad. Biology of Reproduction, 86:163, 1-10.

5.  Shin J, Bossenz M, Chung Y, Ma H, Byron M, Taniguchi-Ishigaki N, Zhu X, Jiao B, Hall LL, Green MR, Jones SN, Hermans-Borgmeyer I, Lawrence JB, Bach I. 2010. Maternal Rnf12/RLIM is required for imprinted X-chromosome inactivation in mice. Nature, 467:977-81.

Lab Staff:


Qin Yang, Research Assistant

Jia Hu, Research Assistant

Graduate Students:

Hao Ke, 2013

Li-Min Zhao, 2013


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