Treatment of donor cells with recombinant KDM4D protein improves preimplantation development of cloned ovine embryos
Incomplete epigenetic reprogramming is one of the major factors affecting the development of embryos cloned by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) trimethylation has been identified as a key barrier to efficient reprogramming by SCNT. The aim of this study was to explore a method of downregulating H3K9me3 levels in donor cells by using histone lysine demethylase (KDM) protein. When sheep fetal fibroblast cells were treated with recombinant human KDM4D protein (rhKDM4D), the levels of H3K9 trimethylation and dimethylation were both significantly decreased. After SCNT, rhKDM4D-treated donor cells supported significantly higher percentage of cloned embryos developing into blastocysts as compared to non-treated control cells. Moreover, the blastocyst quality was also improved by rhKDM4D treatment of donor cells, as assessed by the total cell number in blastocysts and the expression of developmental genes including SOX2, NANOG and CDX2. These results indicate that treatment of donor cells with recombinant KDM4D protein can downregulate the levels of H3K9 trimethylation and dimethylation and improve the developmental competence of SCNT embryos. This strategy may be convenient to be used in KDM4-assisted SCNT procedure for improving the efficiency of cloning.
KeywordsH3K9 methylation KDM4D Sheep Somatic cell nuclear transfer
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31172208) and China Agriculture Research System (Grant No. CARS-39-04).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no financial or commercial conflict of interest.
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