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Accession IconGSE23033

Polycomb function during oogenesis is required for mouse early embryonic development (germinal vesicle oocytes)

Organism Icon Mus musculus
Sample Icon 12 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Mouse Gene 1.0 ST Array (mogene10st)

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In mammals, totipotent pre-implantation embryos are formed by fusion of highly differentiated oocytes and spermatozoa. Acquisition of totipotency concurs with remodeling of chromatin states of parental genomes (epigenetic reprogramming), changes in maternally contributed transcriptome and proteome, and zygotic genome activation. Genomes of mature germ cells are more proficient in supporting embryonic development than those of somatic cells. It is currently unknown whether transgenerational inheritance of chromatin states present in mature gametes underlies the efficacy of early embryonic development after natural conception. Here, we show that Ring1 and Rnf2, two core components of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1), serve redundant gene regulatory functions during oogenesis that are required to support embryonic development beyond the two-cell stage. Numerous developmental regulatory genes that are established Polycomb targets in various somatic cell types are de-repressed in Ring1/Rnf2 double mutant (dm) fully grown germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes. Translation of tested aberrant maternal transcripts is, however, delayed until after fertilization. Exchange of maternal pro-nuclei between control and Ring1/Rnf2 maternally dm early zygotes demonstrates an essential role for Ring1 and Rnf2 during oogenesis in defining cytoplasmic and nuclear maternal contributions that are both essential for proper initiation of embryonic development. A large number of genes up-regulated in Ring1/Rnf2 dm GV oocytes harbor PRC2-mediated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in spermatozoa and in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and are repressed during normal oogenesis and early embryogenesis. These data strongly support the model that Polycomb acts in the female and male germline to silence differentiation inducing genes and to program chromatin states, thereby sustaining developmental potential across generations.
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