Long exposure to mature ooplasm can alter DNA methylation at imprinted loci in non-growing oocytes but not in prospermatogonia

Yayoi Obata, Takuya Wakai, Satoshi Hara, Tomohiro Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

DNA methylation imprints that are established in spermatogenesis and oogenesis are essential for functional gametes. However, the mechanisms underlying gamete-specific imprinting remain unclear. In this study, we investigated whether male and female gametes derived from newborn mice are epigenetically plastic and whether DNA methylation imprints are influenced by the niche surrounding the nuclei of the gametes. When prospermatogonia possessing sperm-specific DNA methylation imprints were fused with enucleated fully grown oocytes and exposed to the ooplasm for 5-6 days, the DNA methylation status of the reconstituted oocytes remained identical to that of prospermatogonia for all the imprinted regions analysed. These results suggest that the imprinting status of prospermatogonia is stable and that the epigenome of prospermatogonia loses sexual plasticity. By contrast, when non-growing oocytes lacking oocytespecific DNA methylation imprints were fused with enucleated fully grown oocytes and the reconstituted oocytes were then cultured for 5-6 days, the Igf2r, Kcnq1ot1 and, unexpectedly, H19/Igf2 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were methylated. Methylation imprints were entirely absent in oocytes derived from 5-day-old mice, and H19/Igf2 DMR is usually methylated only in spermatogenesis. These findings indicate that in the nuclei of non-growing oocytes the chromatin conformation changes and becomes permissive to DNA methyltransferases in some DMRs and that mechanisms for maintaining non-methylated status at the H19/Igf2 DMR are lost upon long exposure to mature ooplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1-H6
JournalReproduction
Volume147
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Cell Biology

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