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Dynamic expression of chromatin modifiers during developmental transitions in mouse preimplantation embryos

Nestorov, P., Hotz, H.R., Liu, Z., Peters, A.H.F.M.

During mouse preimplantation development, major changes in cell fate are accompanied by extensive alterations of gene expression programs. Embryos first transition from a maternal to zygotic program and subsequently specify the pluripotent and the trophectodermal cell lineages. These processes are regulated by key transcription factors, likely in cooperation with chromatin modifiers that control histone and DNA methylation. To characterize the spatiotemporal expression of chromatin modifiers in relation to developmental transitions, we performed gene expression profiling of 156 genes in individual oocytes and single blastomeres of developing mouse embryos until the blastocyst stage. More than half of the chromatin modifiers displayed either maternal or zygotic expression. We also detected lineage-specific expression of several modifiers, including Ezh1, Prdm14, Scmh1 and Tet1 underscoring possible roles in cell fate decisions. Members of the SET-domain containing SMYD family showed differential gene expression during preimplantation development. We further observed co-expression of genes with opposing biochemical activities, such as histone methyltransferases and demethylases, suggesting the existence of a dynamic chromatin steady-state during preimplantation development.

Citation

Nestorov, P., Hotz, H.R., Liu, Z., Peters, A.H.F.M. "Dynamic expression of chromatin modifiers during developmental transitions in mouse preimplantation embryos" Scientific Reports (2015): 14,347