Stella and Zygotic Reprogramming
The development of a mouse begins after fertilization, the fusion of the ovulated oocyte with a sperm. During the development of the preimplantation embryo, the parental genomes undergo extensive epigenetic reprogramming, including genome-wide DNA demethylation. Shortly after fertilization, DNA methylation of the paternal genome is rapidly removed by a replication-independent process. In contrast, DNA methylation of the maternal genome is reduced gradually, in a replication-dependent manner. Thus, DNA methylation status is quite different between the paternal and maternal genomes in the zygote stage; this difference is called “epigenetic asymmetry.” Recent studies have revealed that the maternal factor Stella (also known as PGC7 and Dppa3, “developmental pluripotency-associated 3”) is required for both the maintenance of DNA methylation status of some imprinted genes and retrotransposons and for the establishment of epigenetic asymmetry in zygotes.
KeywordsImprint Gene Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Preimplantation Embryo Nuclear Export Signal Preimplantation Development
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