The detailed entries of the Imprinted Gene Catalogue database were created by Benjamin Tycko, Columbia University, New York and are updated by Ian Morison


Detailed entry for Gene:



Human Chr11p15.5
Mouse Chr7 (distal)




The paternal allele of Ascl2 is silenced; maternal allele active in mice and, probably, in humans (expression absent from androgenetic hydatidiform moles) (Alders M et al, 1997; Caspary T et al, 1998; Guillemot F et al, 1995; Tanaka M et al, 1999). Expression and functional imprinting of Ascl2 is only observed in placenta (Guillemot F et al, 1995; Guillemot F et al, 1994).

Gene Product:

Transcription factor; basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family (Janatpour MJ et al, 1999).

Functional Data:

In the placenta, Ascl2 acts in a cell-autonomous manner to inhibit the differentiation of proliferating spongiotrophoblast into giant cells (Guillemot F et al, 1994; Tanaka M et al, 1997). Placentas of Ascl2-knockout mice have a relative increase in giant cells and a deficiency of spongiotrophoblast, and the conceptuses fail at mid-gestation (Guillemot F et al, 1994; Tanaka M et al, 1997).


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