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  • Godfried W van der Heijden
Godfried W van der Heijden

Godfried W van der Heijden
Erasmus MC | Erasmus MC · Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

About

65
Publications
16,510
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2,659
Citations
Citations since 2016
26 Research Items
1223 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
Introduction
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Publications

Publications (65)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Meiosis is a specialized germ cell cycle that generates haploid gametes. In the initial stage of meiosis, meiotic prophase I (MPI), homologous chromosomes pair and recombine. Extensive changes in chromatin in MPI raise an important question concerning the contribution of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation to meiosis. Interes...
Article
Full-text available
Background In the nuclei of most mammalian cells, pericentric heterochromatin is characterized by DNA methylation, histone modifications such as H3K9me3 and H4K20me3, and specific binding proteins like heterochromatin-binding protein 1 isoforms (HP1 isoforms). Maintenance of this specialized chromatin structure is of great importance for genome int...
Preprint
Full-text available
The quality of germ cells depends on successful chromatin organization in meiotic prophase I (MPI). To better understand the epigenetic context of MPI we studied the dynamics of DNA methylation in wild-type male mice. We discovered an extended period of genome-wide transient reduction of DNA methylation (TRDM) during early MPI. Our data show that T...
Article
Full-text available
Background In mammalian meiotic prophase, homologous chromosome recognition is aided by formation and repair of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Subsequently, stable associations form through homologous chromosome synapsis. In male mouse meiosis, the largely heterologous X and Y chromosomes synapse only in their short pseudoautosomal reg...
Article
Full-text available
The different configurations of maternal and paternal chromatin, acquired during oogenesis and spermatogenesis, have to be rearranged after fertilization to form a functional embryonic genome. In the paternal genome, nucleosomal chromatin domains are re-established after the protamine-to-histone exchange. We investigated the formation of constituti...
Article
Full-text available
Pachytene piRNAs are a class of Piwi-interacting small RNAs abundant in spermatids of the adult mouse testis. They are processed from piRNA primary transcripts by a poorly understood mechanism and, unlike fetal transposon-derived piRNAs, lack complementary targets in the spermatid transcriptome. We report that immunopurified complexes of a conserve...
Article
Meiotic prophase I (MPI), is an initial stage of meiosis characterized by intricate homologous chromosome interactions, synapsis, and DNA recombination. These processes depend on the complex, but poorly understood early MPI events of homologous chromosome search, alignment, and pairing. Detailed molecular investigation of these early events require...
Article
Fetal oocyte attrition (FOA) is a conserved but poorly understood process of elimination of more than two-thirds of meiotic prophase I (MPI) oocytes before birth. We now implicate retrotransposons LINE-1 (L1), activated during epigenetic reprogramming of the embryonic germline, in FOA in mice. We show that wild-type fetal oocytes possess differenti...
Article
Full-text available
ATP-dependent nucleosome remodelers of the CHD family play important roles in chromatin regulation during development and differentiation. The ubiquitously expressed CHD3 and CHD4 proteins are essential for stem cell function and serve to orchestrate gene expression in different developmental settings. By contrast, the closely related CHD5 is predo...
Article
5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxycytidine triphosphate (EdCTP) was synthesized as a probe to be used in conjunction with fluorescent labeling to facilitate the analysis of the in vivo dynamics of DNA-centered processes (DNA replication, repair and cytosine demethylation). Kinetic analysis showed that EdCTP is accepted as a substrate by Klenow exo(-) and DNA polym...
Article
The early pronucleus stage of the mouse zygote has been characterised in vitro as radiosensitive, due to a high rate of induction of chromosome-type chromosome abnormalities (CA). We have investigated the repair of irradiation induced double strand DNA breaks in vivo by γH2AX foci and first cleavage metaphase analysis. Breaks were induced in sperm...
Article
Full-text available
Meiosis yields haploid gametes following two successive divisions of a germ cell in the absence of intervening DNA replication. Balanced segregation of homologous chromosomes in Meiosis I is aided by a proteinaceous structure, the synaptonemal complex (SC). The objective of this study was to determine total average autosomal SC lengths in spermatoc...
Article
Epigenetic reprogramming of embryonic mouse germ cells involves DNA demethylation of the genome that is accompanied by derepression of transposable elements (TEs). Threatening the genome's integrity, TE activation is efficiently countered by the concerted action of de novo DNA methylation and PIWI-interacting small RNAs (piRNAs). Recent studies hav...
Data
Co-localization of P-body components in the Mael-mutant gonocytes. In Mael-deficient gonocytes, XRN-1, GW182, and DCP1a co-localization remains intact. (4.93 MB TIF)
Data
Analysis of gonocyte cell cycle arrest in wild-type and Mael-mutant animals by EdU labeling of replicating DNA. (A) Schematic outline of the experiment–timing of EdU injections in two groups of animals and their sacrifice. (B) Representative DAPI/EdU/MVH staining of processed gonadal tissues. No EdU labeling was observed in gonocytes. (C) Quantific...
Data
GW182 forms an outer shell of the piP-body. (2.16 MB TIF)
Data
Electron micrograph images of piP-bodies in wild-type and Mael-mutant gonocytes. Examples of piP-bodies in wild-type (A) and in Mael-mutant (B) gonocytes. Regions indicated in red boxes are shown magnified below the overview. (5.89 MB TIF)
Data
MILI localization in Mael-mutant gonocytes. Loss of MAEL does not affect the localization of MILI. (2.45 MB TIF)
Data
Associations of MVH and DCP1a in wild-type and Mael-mutant gonocytes. In wild-type gonocytes, 3 types of MVH-DCP1a localizations were observed: 1) overlapping, 2) associated granules, or 3) solitary granules. In the Mael mutant, virtually only associated or solitary DCP1a granules were present. (1.18 MB TIF)
Data
Size distributions of LINE and SINE small RNAs from E16.5 Mael-mutant testes. (0.46 MB TIF)
Data
Results of small RNA sequencing. (0.14 MB TIF)
Data
DNMT3L and DNMT3A2 expression in E16.5 Mael-mutant gonocytes. At day E13.5, no DNMT3L and DNMT3A2 staining was observed in wild-type and Mael-mutant gonocytes (data not shown). At day E16.5, all gonocytes showed prominent nuclear staining. (3.82 MB TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Derepression of transposable elements (TEs) in the course of epigenetic reprogramming of the mouse embryonic germline necessitates the existence of a robust defense that is comprised of PIWI/piRNA pathway and de novo DNA methylation machinery. To gain further insight into biogenesis and function of piRNAs, we studied the intracellular localization...
Article
Every good tale involves a kingdom with a gray-bearded king, his loyal army, and some truly detestable villains. This old rule also applies to metazoan genomes. The villains of the kingdom are a nasty bunch of arrogant and eroding creatures known commonly as “transposons” that hop from one location to another and constantly interfere with the norma...
Article
Full-text available
Postmigratory mouse primordial germ cells (PGCs) undergo extensive epigenetic remodeling that includes DNA methylation (DM) reprogramming of imprinted genes and, surprisingly, of transposable elements (TEs). Given the danger posed by TEs to the integrity of the germline, even a brief derepression of TEs is counterintuitive and puzzling. In the male...
Article
In mouse zygotes, many post-translational histone modifications are asymmetrically present in male and female pronuclei. We investigated whether this principle could be used to determine the genetic composition of monopronuclear human zygotes in conventional IVF and ICSI. First we determined whether male female asymmetry is conserved from mouse to...
Article
Tight control of transposon activity is essential for the integrity of the germline. Recently, a germ-cell-specific organelle, nuage, was proposed to play a role in transposon repression. To test this hypothesis, we disrupted a murine homolog of a Drosophila nuage protein Maelstrom. Effects on male meiotic chromosome synapsis and derepression of tr...
Article
In the human, the contribution of the sexes to the genetic load is dissimilar. Especially for point mutations, expanded simple tandem repeats and structural chromosome mutations, the contribution of the male germline is dominant. Far less is known about the male germ cell stage(s) that are most vulnerable to mutation contraction. For the understand...
Article
Full-text available
Meiotic silencing of sex chromosomes may cause their depletion of meiosis-specific genes during evolution. Here, we challenge this hypothesis by reporting the identification of TEX11 as the first X-encoded meiosis-specific factor in mice. TEX11 forms discrete foci on synapsed regions of meiotic chromosomes and appears to be a novel constituent of m...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Sperm heterogeneity in the human, as observed in oligo-astheno-teratozoospermia (OAT), is associated with hypospermatogenesis. METHODS The chromatin of sperm from OAT and normospermic males was characterized with antibodies specific for nucleosomes, the histone H3.1/H3.2 isoform, histone TH2B, apoptosis-associated H4 acetylation (KM-2)...
Article
Full-text available
about 15% to 30% of the DNA in human sperm is packed in nucleosomes and transmission of this fraction to the embryo potentially serves as a mechanism to facilitate paternal epigenetic programs during embryonic development. However, hitherto it has not been established whether these nucleosomes are removed like the protamines or indeed contribute to...
Article
Among ICSI children de novo structural chromosome aberrations of male descent are increased. Misrepair of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) is a prerequisite for such aberrations to occur. To date, no absolute assessment of the number of DSBs in human sperm nuclei after gamete fusion has been described. Using man-mouse heterologous ICSI and gammaH2AX...
Article
Full-text available
The results of a number of recent studies show that mutation rates in the offspring of irradiated parents are substantially elevated, however, the effect of parental genotype on transgenerational instability remains poorly understood. Here, we have analysed the mutation frequency at an expanded simple tandem repeat (ESTR) locus in the germline and...
Article
Full-text available
In mammalian males, the first meiotic prophase is characterized by formation of a separate chromatin domain called the sex body. In this domain, the X and Y chromosomes are partially synapsed and transcriptionally silenced, a process termed meiotic sex-chromosome inactivation (MSCI). Likewise, unsynapsed autosomal chromatin present during pachytene...
Article
The mechanism of trinucleotide repeat expansion, an important cause of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases, is poorly understood. We report here on the study of the role of flap endonuclease 1 (Fen1), a structure-specific nuclease with both 5' flap endonuclease and 5'-3' exonuclease activity, in the somatic hypermutability of the (CTG)(n)*...
Article
Rapidly after gamete fusion, the sperm nucleus loses its specific chromatin conformation and the DNA is repopulated with maternally derived nucleosomes. We evaluated the nature of paternally derived nucleosomes and the dynamics of sperm chromatin remodeling in the zygote directly after gamete fusion. We observed histone H4 acetylated at K8 or K12 a...
Article
In the mouse, the paternal post-meiotic chromatin is assumed to be devoid of DNA repair after nuclear elongation and protamine-induced compaction. Hence, DNA lesions induced thereafter will have to be restored upon gamete fusion in the zygote. Misrepair of such lesions often results in chromosome type aberrations at the first cleavage division, sug...
Article
In mammalian fertilization, the paternal genome is delivered to the secondary oocyte by sperm with protamine compacted DNA, while the maternal genome is arrested in meiotic metaphase II. Thus, at the beginning of fertilization, the two gametic chromatin sets are strikingly different. We elaborate on this contrast by reporting asymmetry for histone...
Article
Full-text available
Male mice, heterozygous for two semi-identical reciprocal translocations T(1;13)70H and T(1;13)1Wa are usually sterile. We have investigated this oligoasthenoteratozoospermic mouse model using ICSI. B6D2F1 oocytes were injected with epididymal or testicular sperm from fertile or sterile translocation carriers and from chromosomally normal fertile c...

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