Histone Demethylase-Assisted Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Facilitates Derivation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
ABSTRACT: The extremely low efficiency of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivation using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) limits potential application. Blastocyst formation from human SCNT embryos occurs at a low rate and with only some oocyte donors. We previously showed in mice that reduction of histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) through ectopic expression of the H3K9me3 demethylase Kdm4d greatly improves SCNT embryo development. Here we show that overexpression of a related H3K9me3 demethylase KDM4A improves human SCNT, and that, as in mice, H3K9me3 in the human somatic cell genome is an SCNT reprogramming barrier. Overexpression of KDM4A significantly improves the blastocyst formation rate in human SCNT embryos by facilitating transcriptional reprogramming, allowing derivation of NTESCs from all oocyte donors tested using adult AMD patient somatic nuclei donors. This conserved mechanistic insight has potential applications for improving SCNT in a variety of contexts, including regenerative medicine. Here we perform RNA-seq based transcriptome profiling in human Donor (fibroblast cells), in vitro fertilized embryos at 8-cell stages (IVF_8Cell), somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos at 8-cell stages (SCNT_8Cell), SCNT assisted by KDM4A 8-cell embryos (SCNT_KDM4A_8Cell). Besides, we also perform RNA-seq in Control human ES cells (CTR_hES) and SCNT assisted by KDM4A derived human ES cells (NTK) with duplicates.
Project description:Mammalian oocytes can reprogram somatic cells into a totipotent state enabling animal cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, the majority of SCNT embryos fail to develop to term due to undefined reprogramming defects. Here, we identify histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) of donor cell genome as a major barrier for efficient reprogramming by SCNT. Comparative transcriptome analysis identified reprogramming resistant regions (RRRs) that are expressed normally at 2-cell mouse embryos generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF) but not SCNT. RRRs are enriched for H3K9me3 in donor somatic cells and its removal by ectopically expressed H3K9me3 demethylase Kdm4d not only reactivates the majority of RRRs, but also greatly improves SCNT efficiency. Furthermore, use of donor somatic nuclei depleted of H3K9 methyltransferases markedly improves SCNT efficiency. Our study thus identifies H3K9me3 as a critical epigenetic barrier in SCNT-mediated reprogramming and provides a promising approach for improving mammalian cloning efficiency.
Project description:Pig cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) remains extremely inefficient, and many cloned embryos undergo abnormal development. Here, by profiling transcriptome expression, we observed dysregulated chromosome-wide gene expression in every chromosome and identified a considerable number of genes that are aberrantly expressed in the abnormal cloned embryos. In particular, XIST, a long non-coding RNA gene, showed high ectopic expression in abnormal embryos. We also proved that nullification of the XIST gene in donor cells can normalize aberrant gene expression in cloned embryos and enhance long-term development capacity of the embryos. Furthermore, the increased quality of XIST-deficient embryos was associated with the global H3K9me3 reduction. Injection of H3K9me demethylase Kdm4A into NT embryos could improve the development of pre-implantation stage embryos. However, Kdm4A addition also induced XIST derepression in the active X chromosome and thus was not able to enhance the in vivo long-term developmental capacity of porcine NT embryos.
Project description:Mammalian oocytes can reprogram somatic cells into totipotent state, which allows animal cloning through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, the great majority of SCNT embryos fail to develop to term due to poorly defined reprogramming defects. Here we demonstrate that histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) in donor nuclei is a major epigenetic barrier that prevents efficient nuclear reprogramming in mouse oocytes. Comparative transcriptome analysis of early embryos revealed reprogramming resistant regions (RRRs) where transcriptional activation at 2-cell embryos is inhibited by SCNT compared to in vitro fertilization (IVF). RRRs significantly overlap with H3K9me3 enrichment in donor somatic cells. Importantly, removal of the H3K9me3 by ectopic expression of an H3K9me3 demethylase Kdm4d in recipient oocytes not only reactivates most RRRs, but also greatly improves development of SCNT embryos. Furthermore, the use of Suv39h1/2-depleted somatic nuclei as donors also greatly improves the development of SCNT embryos. Our study thus reveals H3K9me3 as an epigenetic barrier in SCNT-mediated reprogramming and provides a feasible method for improving mammalian cloning efficiency. Overall design: Here we perform RNA-seq based transcriptome profiling in Donor (cumulus cells), in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos at 1- and 2-cell stages, somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos at 1- and 2-cell stages, Kdm4d over-expressed 2-cell SCNT embryos, and catalytic domain mutated Kdm4d over-expressed 2-cell SCNT embryos with duplicates.
Project description:The efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is low due to the strong resistance of somatic donor cells to epigenetic reprogramming. Many epigenetic drugs targeting DNA methylation and histone acetylation have been used in attempts to improve the in vitro and in vivo development of SCNT embryos. H3K9me3 has been shown to be an important reprogramming barrier for generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and SCNT embryos in mice and humans. In this study, we examined the effects of selective siRNA and chemical inhibition of H3K9me3 in somatic donor cells on the in vitro development of bovine SCNT embryos. Chaetocin, an inhibitor of SUV39H1/H2, was supplemented during the culture of donor cells. In addition, the siRNA knockdown of SUV39H1/H2 was performed in the donor cells. The effects of chaetocin and siSUV39H1/H2 on H3K9me3 and H3K9ac were quantified using flow cytometry. Furthermore, we assessed chaetocin treatment and SUV39H1/H2 knockdown on the blastocyst formation rate. Both chaetocin and siSUV39H1/H2 significantly reduced and elevated the relative intensity level of H3K9me3 and H3K9ac in treated fibroblast cells, respectively. siSUV39H1/H2 transfection, but not chaetocin treatment, improved the in vitro development of SCNT embryos. Moreover, siSUV39H1/H2 altered the expression profile of the selected genes in the derived blastocysts, similar to those derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF). In conclusion, our results demonstrated H3K9me3 as an epigenetic barrier in the reprogramming process mediated by SCNT in bovine species, a finding which supports the role of H3K9me3 as a reprogramming barrier in mammalian species. Our findings provide a promising approach for improving the efficiency of mammalian cloning for agricultural and biomedical purposes.
Project description:Efficient epigenetic reprogramming is crucial for the in vitro development of mammalian somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. The aberrant levels of histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) is an epigenetic barrier. In this study, we evaluated the effects of chaetocin, an H3K9me3-specific methyltransferase inhibitor, on the epigenetic reprogramming and developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos. The SCNT embryos showed abnormal levels of H3K9me3 at the pronuclear, two-cell, and four-cell stages compared to in vitro fertilized embryos. Moreover, the expression levels of H3K9me3-specific methyltransferases (suv39h1 and suv39h2) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3a, and DNMT3b) were higher in SCNT embryos. Treatment with 0.5 nM chaetocin for 24 h after activation significantly increased the developmental competence of SCNT embryos in terms of the cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate, hatching rate, cell number, expression of pluripotency-related genes, and cell survival rate. In particular, chaetocin enhanced epigenetic reprogramming by reducing the H3K9me3 and 5-methylcytosine levels and restoring the abnormal expression of H3K9me3-specific methyltransferases and DNA methyltransferases. Chaetocin induced autophagic activity, leading to a significant reduction in maternal mRNA levels in embryos at the pronuclear and two-cell stages. These findings revealed that chaetocin enhanced the developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos by regulating epigenetic reprogramming and autophagic activity and so could be used to enhance the production of transgenic pigs for biomedical research.
Project description: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.
Project description:Despite extensive efforts, low efficiency is still an issue in bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The hypothesis of our study was that the use of cytoplasts produced by chemically assisted enucleation (EN) would improve nuclear reprogramming in nuclear transfer (NT)-derived embryos because it results in lower damage and higher cytoplasm content than conventional EN. For that purpose, we investigated the expression of two X-linked genes: X inactive-specific transcript (XIST) and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). In the first experiment, gene expression was assessed in day-7 female blastocysts from embryonic cell NT (ECNT) groups [conventional, ECNT conv; chemically assisted, ECNT deme (demecolcine)]. Whereas in the ECNT conv group, only one embryo (25%; n=4) expressed XIST transcripts, most embryos showed XIST expression (75%; n=4) in the ECNT deme group. However, no significant differences in transcript abundance of XIST and G6PD were found when comparing the embryos from all groups. In a second experiment using somatic cells as nuclear donors, we evaluated gene expression profiles in female SCNT-derived embryos. No significant differences in relative abundance (RA) of XIST transcripts were observed among the groups. Nonetheless, higher (p<0.05) levels of G6PD were observed in SCNT deme and in vitro-derived groups in comparison to SCNT conv. To know whether higher G6PD expression in embryos derived from SCNT chemically assisted EN indicates higher metabolism in embryos considered of superior quality or if the presence of higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels generated by the increased oxygen consumption triggers G6PD activation, the expression of genes related to stress response should be investigated in embryos produced by that technique.
Project description:The low full-term developmental efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos is mainly attributed to imperfect epigenetic reprogramming in the early embryos. However, dynamic expression patterns of histone methylation involved in epigenetic reprogramming progression during porcine SCNT embryo early development remain to be unknown. In this study, we characterized and compared the expression patterns of multiple histone methylation markers including transcriptionally repressive (H3K9me2, H3K9me3, H3K27me2, H3K27me3, H4K20me2 and H4K20me3) and active modifications (H3K4me2, H3K4me3, H3K36me2, H3K36me3, H3K79me2 and H3K79me3) in SCNT early embryos from different developmental stages with that from in vitro fertilization (IVF) counterparts. We found that the expression level of H3K9me2, H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 of SCNT embryos from 1-cell to 4-cell stages was significantly higher than that in the IVF embryos. We also detected a symmetric distribution pattern of H3K9me2 between inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) in SCNT blastocysts. The expression level of H3K9me2 in both lineages from SCNT expanded blastocyst onwards was significantly higher than that in IVF counterparts. The expression level of H4K20me2 was significantly lower in SCNT embryos from morula to blastocyst stage compared with IVF embryos. However, no aberrant dynamic reprogramming of H3K27me2/3 occurred during early developmental stages of SCNT embryos. The expression of H3K4me3 was higher in SCNT embryos at 4-cell stage than that of IVF embryos. H3K4me2 expression in SCNT embryos from 8-cell stage to blastocyst stage was lower than that in the IVF embryos. Dynamic patterns of other active histone methylation markers were similar between SCNT and IVF embryos. Taken together, histone methylation exhibited developmentally stage-specific abnormal expression patterns in porcine SCNT early embryos.
Project description:The oocyte cytoplasm can reprogram the somatic cell nucleus into a totipotent state, but with low efficiency. The spatiotemporal chromatin organization of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos remains elusive. Here, we examine higher order chromatin structures of mouse SCNT embryos using a low-input Hi-C method. We find that donor cell chromatin transforms to the metaphase state rapidly after SCNT along with the dissolution of typical 3D chromatin structure. Intriguingly, the genome undergoes a mitotic metaphase-like to meiosis metaphase II-like transition following activation. Subsequently, weak chromatin compartments and topologically associating domains (TADs) emerge following metaphase exit. TADs are further removed until the 2-cell stage before being progressively reestablished. Obvious defects including stronger TAD boundaries, aberrant super-enhancer and promoter interactions are found in SCNT embryos. These defects are partially caused by inherited H3K9me3, and can be rescued by Kdm4d overexpression. These observations provide insight into chromatin architecture reorganization during SCNT embryo development.
Project description:Animal cloning can be achieved through somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), although the live birth rate is relatively low. Recent studies have identified H3K9me3 in donor cells and abnormal Xist activation as epigenetic barriers that impede SCNT. Here we overcome these barriers using a combination of Xist knockout donor cells and overexpression of Kdm4 to achieve more than 20% efficiency of mouse SCNT. However, post-implantation defects and abnormal placentas were still observed, indicating that additional epigenetic barriers impede SCNT cloning. Comparative DNA methylome analysis of IVF and SCNT blastocysts identified abnormally methylated regions in SCNT embryos despite successful global reprogramming of the methylome. Strikingly, allelic transcriptomic and ChIP-seq analyses of pre-implantation SCNT embryos revealed complete loss of H3K27me3 imprinting, which may account for the postnatal developmental defects observed in SCNT embryos. Together, these results provide an efficient method for mouse cloning while paving the way for further improving SCNT efficiency.