Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2363-2372. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34635

Research Paper

Histone Demethylase UTX is an Essential Factor for Zygotic Genome Activation and Regulates Zscan4 Expression in Mouse Embryos

Lige Bai1,2*, Lei Yang1*, Caiquan Zhao1,2, Lishuang Song1,2, Xuefei Liu1, Chunling Bai1,2, Guanghua Su1,2, Zhuying Wei1,2, Guangpeng Li1,2✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Regulation and Breeding of Grassland Livestock (R2BGL), Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China.
2. College of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China.
*These authors contributed equally to the work.

Abstract

Following fertilization, the zygotic genome is activated through a process termed zygotic genome activation (ZGA), which enables zygotic gene products to replace the maternal products and initiates early embryonic development. During the ZGA period, the embryonic epigenome experiences extensive recodifications. The H3K27me3 demethylase UTX is essential for post-implantation embryonic development. However, it remains unclear whether UTX participates in preimplantation development, especially during the ZGA process. In the present study, we showed that either knockdown or overexpression of UTX led to embryonic development retardation, whereas simultaneous depletion of UTX and overexpression of ZSCAN4D rescued the embryonic development, indicating that UTX positively regulated Zscan4d expression. Using a transgenic mice model, we also found that UTX was required for preimplantation embryonic development. In conclusion, these results indicate that UTX functions as a novel regulator and plays critical roles during ZGA in addition to early embryonic development.

Keywords: Embryo, Zygotic genome activation, Utx, Zscan4d, 2-cell retardation

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How to cite this article:
Bai L, Yang L, Zhao C, Song L, Liu X, Bai C, Su G, Wei Z, Li G. Histone Demethylase UTX is an Essential Factor for Zygotic Genome Activation and Regulates Zscan4 Expression in Mouse Embryos. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(11):2363-2372. doi:10.7150/ijbs.34635. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v15p2363.htm