Sperm-borne small RNA regulate α-tubulin acetylation and epigenetic modification of early bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos

Pengxiang Qu, Zhenzi Zuo, Zhengqing Liu, Zhihan Niu, Ying Zhang, Yue Du, Xiaonan Ma, Fang Qiao, Mengyun Wang, Yong Zhang, Suzhu Qing, Yongsheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accumulated evidence indicates that sperm-borne small RNA plays a crucial role in embryonic development, especially the absence of the sperm-borne small RNA might be a major cause of the abnormal development of cloned embryos. In this study, we found that sperm-borne small RNA can affect abnormal pronuclear-like structures, postpone the timing of first embryo cleavage and enhance developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. In addition, the supplementation of sperm-borne small RNA can significantly increase live birth rates and decrease the birth weights of cloned offspring. To investigate the underlying mechanisms, the levels of α-tubulin K40 acetylation (Ac α-tubulin K40) and histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) during early embryo development were investigated in SCNT embryos with sperm-borne small RNA supplementation (termed as T-NT), compared to those normal SCNT embryos and embryos obtained from standard IVF. The results showed that sperm-borne small RNA can significantly decrease the H3K9me3 levels at the pronuclear and two-cell stages, while significantly increase Ac α-tubulin K40 levels at anaphase and telophase of bovine SCNT embryos during the first cleavage. Collectively, our study for the first time demonstrates that sperm-borne small RNA plays a crucial role in the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by regulating H3K9me3 and Ac α-tubulin K40. Further studies will be required to determine how sperm small RNA regulate the H3K9me3 and Acα-tubulin K40. Our study suggests that the supplementation of sperm-borne small RNA is a potential application to improve the cloning efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Early online date1 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • sperm-borne small RNA
  • embryonic development
  • α-tubulin K40 acetylation
  • H3K9me3
  • the first cleavage
  • cloning efficiency

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