ABSTRACT: Among many factors that potentially affect somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryo development is the donor cell itself. Cloning potentials of somatic donor cells vary greatly, possibly because the cells have different capacities to be reprogrammed by ooplasma. It is therefore intriguing to identify factors that regulate the reprogrammability of somatic donor cells. Gene expression analysis is a widely used tool to investigate underlying mechanisms of various phenotypes. In this study, we conducted a retrospective analysis investigating whether donor cell lines with distinct cloning efficiencies express different levels of genes involved in epigenetic reprogramming including histone deacetylase-1 (HDAC1), -2 (HDAC2); DNA methyltransferase-1 (DNMT1), -3a (DNMT3a),-3b (DNMT3b), and the bovine homolog of yeast sucrose nonfermenting-2 (SNF2L), a SWI/SNF family of ATPases. Cell samples from 12 bovine donor cell lines were collected at the time of nuclear transfer experiments and expression levels of the genes were measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Our results show that there are no significant differences in expression levels of these genes between donor cell lines of high and low cloning efficiency defined as live calving rates, although inverse correlations are observed between in vitro embryo developmental rates and expression levels of HDAC2 and SNF2L. We also show that selection of stable reference genes is important for relative quantification, and different batches of cells can have different gene expression patterns. In summary, we demonstrate that expression levels of these epigenome regulatory genes in bovine donor cells are not correlated with cloning potential. The experimental design and data analysis method reported here can be applied to study any genes expressed in donor cells.
Cloning and Stem Cells 09/2009; 11(3):397-405. · 2.66 Impact Factor