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APeg3 is an antisense transcript gene of Peg3, which has been recently identified from rat brain. Careful analyses of EST databases indicated that a homologous transcript also exists in other mammalian species, including mouse, cow and human. 5′-and 3′-RACE experiments have subsequently identified a 900-bp cDNA sequence of APeg3 from mouse brain. Mouse APeg3 is localized in the 3′UTR of Peg3 with an intronless genomic structure. The expression of mouse APeg3 is derived mainly from the paternal allele, indicating the imprinting of this antisense transcript gene in brain. Strand-specific RNA analyses also revealed the expression of both human and cow APEG3 in adult brains. In sum, our study confirms that the mammalian PEG3 locus harbors an antisense transcript gene displaying paternal allele-specific expression, and the evolutionary conservation further suggests potential roles of this transcript gene for the function of this imprinted domain.

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