Parental bias in expression and interaction of genes in the equine placenta

Pouya Dini, Theodore Kalbfleisch, José M. Uribe-Salazar, Mariano Carossino, Hossam El-Sheikh Ali, Shavahn C. Loux, Alejandro Esteller-Vico, Jamie K. Norris, Lakshay Anand, Kirsten E. Scoggin, Carlos M. Rodriguez Lopez, James Breen, Ernest Bailey, Peter Daels, Barry A. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Most autosomal genes in the placenta show a biallelic expression pattern. However, some genes exhibit allele-specific transcription depending on the parental origin of the chromosomes on which the copy of the gene resides. Parentally expressed genes are involved in the reciprocal interaction between maternal and paternal genes, coordinating the allocation of resources between fetus and mother. One of the main challenges of studying parental-specific allelic expression (allele-specific expression [ASE]) in the placenta is the maternal cellular remnant at the fetomaternal interface. Horses (Equus caballus) have an epitheliochorial placenta in which both the endometrial epithelium and the epithelium of the chorionic villi are juxtaposed with minimal extension into the uterine mucosa, yet there is no information available on the allelic gene expression of equine chorioallantois (CA). In the current study, we present a dataset of 1,336 genes showing ASE in the equine CA ( along with a workflow for analyzing ASE genes. We further identified 254 potentially imprinted genes among the parentally expressed genes in the equine CA and evaluated the expression pattern of these genes throughout gestation. Our gene ontology analysis implies that maternally expressed genes tend to decrease the length of gestation, while paternally expressed genes extend the length of gestation. This study provides fundamental information regarding parental gene expression during equine pregnancy, a species with a negligible amount of maternal cellular remnant in its placenta. This information will provide the basis for a better understanding of the role of parental gene expression in the placenta during gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2006474118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 20 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Allele-specific expression
  • Equine
  • Monoallelic gene expression
  • Parental gene expression
  • Placenta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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