The imprint is the Print , paw print or brand left by one person or object. It is a peculiar and distinctive sign or characteristic. Let's look at some example sentences: "The imprint of the new coach is already noticed in the team", "The vehicle still exhibits the impact imprint", “He doesn't have a great voice, but I like his imprint”.
Another definition of imprint is linked to fast and irreversible learning process which develops during certain critical phases of the development of some organisms. In these periods, the receptivity of the organism is greater and facilitates the learning .
It is known by the name of genomic imprint to the phenomenon characterized in that some genes are expressed in a certain way according to the sex of the parent; In other words, some genes or genomic domains have biochemical marks that indicate their parental origin. It is possible to notice two types of unions that cause imprints: covalent and the non-covalent. For this to take place, the presence of a nuclear enzymatic machinery is necessary, which must maintain the marks during the cell cycle.
The genomic imprint is created during gametogenesis, a phase in which each pair of homologues secretes a chromosome to the ovule or sperm; later, in embryogenesis and throughout growth until adulthood, the genes that received the imprint maintain their alleles in their respective states: paternal or maternal. In this way, the imprints work like a mold to build replicas of themselves, they are inherited and it is possible to identify them through molecular analysis.
The function of the genomic imprint is much more important than a simple constancy of the parental origin of the alleles of a particular gene, since they serve to reduce the gene expression of one parental copy or another, which results in a lack of balance of homologous alleles or, in other words, in which one of them is favored over the other, depending on their origin.
There are certain diseases of human beings that are related to the genomic imprint, among which are the Prader-Willi syndrome (which affects the development in the lactating stage, and generates intellectual and psychomotor disability, among other disorders) and the syndrome of Angelman (prevents the correct developing of linguistic ability and attacks the motor system), the two associated with a particular region of chromosome 15. On the other hand, there is Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (it is noticed due to overweight of the newborn, due to the presence of viscera that are not found in the abdominal area or due to the excessive size of the tongue).
It is worth mentioning that many species of living beings, including us, receive by inheritance a copy of the autosomal maternal gene and another of the paternal one, and that these two fulfill a function for a large part of the genes; however, in some of them one of the two copies is canceled. To know if the cause of a disease is in the process of genomic imprinting, it is first necessary to study the family tree of the affected person to analyze the other cases: if the same disorder is not expressed in the same way in all family members, Then the problem originates in the imprint.
He hormonal imprinting It is another genetic phenomenon, which occurs during the first encounter between the hormone and its receptor in certain critical periods of life and determines the subsequent ability to translate signals from the cell .
Imprint, finally, is the reproduction of a image , either embossed or hollow, on a soft material, for which a mold or a seal must be used.