MicroRNA-125b is a key epigenetic regulatory factor that promotes nuclear transfer reprogramming.
ABSTRACT: Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)-mediated reprogramming is a rapid, efficient, and sophisticated process that reprograms differentiated somatic cells to a pluripotent state. However, many factors in this elaborate reprogramming process remain largely unknown. Here, we report that the microRNA (miR) miR-125b is an important component of SCNT-mediated reprogramming. Luciferase reporter assay, quantitative PCR, and Western blotting demonstrated that miR-125b directly binds the 3'-untranslated region of SUV39H1, encoding the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase SUV39H1, to down-regulate histone H3 lysine-9 tri-methylation (H3K9me3) in SCNT embryos. Furthermore, the miR-125b/SUV39H1 interaction induced loss of SUV39H1-mediated H3K9me3, caused heterochromatin relaxation, and promoted the development of SCNT embryos. Transcriptome analyses of SCNT blastomeres indicated that HNF1 homeobox B (HNF1B), a gene encoding a transcription factor downstream of and controlled by the miR-125b/SUV39H1 axis, is important for conferring developmental competence on preimplantation embryos. We conclude that miR-125b promotes SCNT-mediated nuclear reprogramming by targeting SUV39H1 to decrease the deposition of repressive H3K9me3 modifications.
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: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:Mammalian oocytes and zygotes have the unique ability to reprogram a somatic cell nucleus into a totipotent state. SUV39H1/2-mediated histone H3 lysine-9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) is a major barrier to efficient reprogramming. How SUV39H1/2 activities are regulated in early embryos and during generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) remains unclear. Since expression of the CRL4 E3 ubiquitin ligase in oocytes is crucial for female fertility, we analyzed putative CRL4 adaptors (DCAFs) and identified DCAF13 as a novel CRL4 adaptor that is essential for preimplantation embryonic development. Dcaf13 is expressed from eight-cell to morula stages in both murine and human embryos, and Dcaf13 knockout in mice causes preimplantation-stage mortality. Dcaf13 knockout embryos are arrested at the eight- to sixteen-cell stage before compaction, and this arrest is accompanied by high levels of H3K9me3. Mechanistically, CRL4-DCAF13 targets SUV39H1 for polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation and therefore facilitates H3K9me3 removal and zygotic gene expression. Taken together, CRL4-DCAF13-mediated SUV39H1 degradation is an essential step for progressive genome reprogramming during preimplantation embryonic development.
Project description:Diabetes remains a major risk factor for vascular complications that seem to persist even after achieving glycemic control, possibly due to "metabolic memory." Using cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (MVSMC) from type 2 diabetic db/db mice, we recently showed that decreased promoter occupancy of the chromatin histone H3 lysine-9 methyltransferase Suv39h1 and the associated repressive epigenetic mark histone H3 lysine-9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) play key roles in sustained inflammatory gene expression. Here we examined the role of microRNAs (miRs) in Suv39h1 regulation and function in MVSMC from diabetic mice.We used luciferase assays with Suv39h1 3'untranslated region (UTR) reporter constructs and Western blotting of endogenous protein to verify that miR-125b targets Suv39h1. We examined the effects of Suv39h1 targeting on inflammatory gene expression by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and H3K9me3 levels at their promoters by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays.We observed significant upregulation of miR-125b with parallel downregulation of Suv39h1 protein (predicted miR-125b target) in MVSMC cultured from diabetic db/db mice relative to control db/+. miR-125b mimics inhibited both Suv39h1 3'UTR luciferase reporter activity and endogenous Suv39h1 protein levels. Conversely, miR-125b inhibitors showed opposite effects. Furthermore, miR-125b mimics increased expression of inflammatory genes, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and interleukin-6, and reduced H3K9me3 at their promoters in nondiabetic cells. Interestingly, miR-125b mimics increased monocyte binding to db/+ MVSMC toward that in db/db MVSMC, further imitating the proinflammatory diabetic phenotype. In addition, we found that the increase in miR-125b in db/db VSMC is caused by increased transcription of miR-125b-2.These results demonstrate a novel upstream role for miR-125b in the epigenetic regulation of inflammatory genes in MVSMC of db/db mice through downregulation of Suv39h1.
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: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: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 essence of the reprogramming activity of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos is to produce normal fertilized embryos. However, reprogramming of somatic cells is not as efficient as the reprogramming of sperm. In this report, we describe the effect of an inducible, specific miR-34 microRNA expression in donor cells that enables a similar level of sperm:transgene expression on the early development of SCNT embryos. Our results showed that donor cells with doxycycline (dox)-induced miR-34c expression for the preparation of SCNT embryos resulted in altered developmental rates, histone modification (H3K9ac and H3K4me3), and extent of apoptosis. The cleavage rate and blastocyst formation of the induced nuclear transfer (NT) group were significantly increased. The immunofluorescence signal of H3K9ac in embryos in the induced NT group significantly increased in two-cell- and eight-cell-stage embryos; that of H3K4me3 increased significantly in eight-cell-stage embryos. Although significant differences in staining signals of apoptosis were not detected between groups, lower apoptosis levels were observed in the induced NT group. In conclusion, miR-34c expression induced by dox treatment enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos, modifies the epigenetic status, and changes blastocyst quality.
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.