Forced expression of DNA methyltransferases during oocyte growth accelerates the establishment of methylation imprints but not functional genomic imprinting

Satoshi Hara, Takashi Takano, Tsugunari Fujikawa, Munehiro Yamada, Takuya Wakai, Tomohiro Kono, Yayoi Obata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In mammals, genomic imprinting governed by DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A and its cofactor DNMT3L is essential for functional gametes. Oocyte-specific methylation imprints are established during oocyte growth concomitant with DNMT3A/DNMT3L expression, although the mechanisms of oocyte-specific imprinting are not fully understood.Todetermine whether the presence ofDNMT3A/DNMT3Linoocytes is sufficient for acquisition of methylation imprints, we produced transgenic mice to induce DNMT3A/DNMT3L expression prematurely in oogenesis and analyzed DNA methylation imprints. The results showed that 2- to 4-fold greater expression of DNMT3A/DNMT3L was achieved in non-growing (ng) oocytes versus fully grown oocytes derived from wildtype mice, but the analyzed imprint domains were not methylated. Thus, the presence of DNMT3A/DNMT3L in ng oocytes is insufficient for methylation imprints, and imprinted regions are resistant to DNMT3A/DNMT3L in ng oocytes. In contrast, excess DNMT3A/DNMT3L accelerated imprint acquisition at Igf2r, Lit1, Zac1 and Impact but not Snrpn and Mest in growing oocytes. Therefore, DNMT3A/DNMT3L quantity is an important factor for imprint acquisition. Transcription at imprinted domains is proposed to be involved in de novo methylation; however, transcription at Lit1, Snrpn and Impact was observed in ng oocytes. Thus, transcription cannot induce DNMT3A catalysis at imprinted regions even if DNMT3A/DNMT3L is present. However, the accelerated methylation imprints in oocytes, with the exception of Igf2r, were erased during embryogenesis. In conclusion, a sufficient amount of DNMT3A/DNMT3L and a shift from the resistant to permissive state are essential to establish oocyte-specific methylation imprints and that maintenance of the acquired DNA methylation imprints is essential for functional imprinting.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberddu100
Pages (from-to)3853-3864
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Volume23
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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