Gene expression during the oocyte-to-embryo transition in mammals.

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609, USA.
Molecular Reproduction and Development (Impact Factor: 2.81). 05/2009; 76(9):805-18. DOI: 10.1002/mrd.21038
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The seminal question in modern developmental biology is the origins of new life arising from the unification of sperm and egg. The roots of this question begin from 19th to 20th century embryologists studying fertilization and embryogenesis. Although the revolution of molecular biology has yielded significant insight into the complexity of this process, the overall orchestration of genes, molecules, and cells is still not fully formed. Early mammalian development, specifically the oocyte-to-embryo transition, is essentially under "maternal command" from factors deposited in the cytoplasm during oocyte growth, independent of de novo transcription from the nascent embryo. Many of the advances in understanding this developmental period occurred in tandem with application of new methods and techniques from molecular biology, from protein electrophoresis to sequencing and assemblies of whole genomes. From this bed of knowledge, it appears that precise control of mRNA translation is a key regulator coordinating the molecular and cellular events occurring during oocyte-to-embryo transition. Notably, oocyte transcriptomes share, yet retain some uniqueness, common genetic motifs among all chordates. The common genetic motifs typically define fundamental processes critical for cellular maintenance, whereas the unique genetic features may be a source of variation and a substrate for sexual selection, genetic drift, or gene flow. One purpose for this complex interplay among genes, proteins, and cells may allow for evolution to transform and act upon the underlying processes, at molecular, structural and organismal levels, to increase diversity, which is the ultimate goal of sexual reproduction.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), maternal proteins in oocytes are degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), and new proteins are synthesized from the zygotic genome. However, the specific mechanisms underlying the UPS at the MZT are not well understood. We identified a molecule named zygote-specific proteasome assembly chaperone (ZPAC) that is specifically expressed in mouse gonads, and expression of ZPAC was transiently increased at the mouse MZT. ZPAC formed a complex with Ump1 and associated with precursor forms of 20S proteasomes. Transcription of ZPAC genes was also under the control of an autoregulatory feedback mechanism for the compensation of reduced proteasome activity similar to Ump1 and 20S proteasome subunit gene expression. Knockdown of ZPAC in early embryos caused a significant reduction of proteasome activity and decrease in Ump1 and mature proteasomes, leading to accumulation of proteins that need to be degraded at the MZT and early developmental arrest. Therefore, a unique proteasome assembly pathway mediated by ZPAC is important for progression of the mouse MZT.
    Biology open. 02/2013; 2(2):170-82.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many bivalves have an unusual mechanism of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) inheritance called doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) in which distinctly different genomes are inherited through the female (F genome) and male (M genome) lineages. In fertilized eggs that will develop into male embryos, the sperm mitochondria remain in an aggregation, which is believed to be delivered to the primordial germ cells and passed to the next generation through the sperm. In fertilized eggs that will develop into female embryos, the sperm mitochondria are dispersed throughout the developing embryo and make little if any contribution to the next generation. The frequency of embryos with the aggregated or dispersed mitochondrial type varies among females. Previous models of DUI have predicted that maternal nuclear factors cause molecular differences between unfertilised eggs from females producing embryos with predominantly dispersed or aggregated mitochondria. We test this hypothesis using females of each of the two types from a natural population. We have found small, yet detectable, differences of the predicted type at the proteome level. We also provide evidence that eggs of females giving the dispersed pattern have consistently lower expression for different proteasome subunits than eggs of females giving the aggregated pattern. These results, combined with those of an earlier study in which we used hatchery lines of Mytilus, and with a transcriptomic study in a clam that has the DUI system of mtDNA transmission, reinforce the hypothesis that the ubiquitin-proteasome system plays a key role in the mechanism of DUI and sex determination in bivalves. We also report that eggs of females giving the dispersed pattern have higher expression for arginine kinase and enolase, enzymes involved in energy production, whereas ferritin which is involved in iron homeostasis has lower expression. We discuss these results in the context of genetic models for DUI and suggest experimental methods for further understanding the role of these proteins in DUI.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 07/2013; 12(11):3068-3080. · 7.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methods for normalization of RNA-sequencing gene expression data commonly assume equal total expression between compared samples. In contrast, scenarios of global gene expression shifts are many and increasing. Here we compare the performance of three normalization methods when polyA(+) RNA content fluctuates significantly during zebrafish early developmental stages. As a benchmark we have used reverse transcription-quantitative PCR. The results show that reads per kilobase per million (RPKM) and trimmed mean of M-values (TMM) normalization systematically leads to biased gene expression estimates. Biological scaling normalization (BSN), designed to handle differences in total expression, showed improved accuracy compared to the two other methods in estimating transcript level dynamics. The results have implications for past and future studies using RNA-sequencing on samples with different levels of total or polyA(+) RNA.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89158. · 3.53 Impact Factor


Available from
May 16, 2014