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Rev Reprod. 1997 May;2(2):74-80.

Nuclear transfer and reprogramming.

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  • 1Nodai Research Institute, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan.


Nuclear transfer techniques for mammalian embryos have been developed in the last decade. Embryonic nuclei from advanced stages of preimplantation development can be fully reprogrammed and the totipotency is restored when nuclei are transferred into ooplasts. Transfer of nuclei after gene expression from the embryonic genome has started does not appear to restrict the reprogramming of these nuclei. The principles of nuclear transfer are outlined with respect to nuclear remodelling, nucleocytoplasmic interactions and effects of the cell cycle. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in reprogramming donor nuclei remain unknown. It is proposed that epigenetic DNA modification, such as DNA methylation that regulates gene expression, is related to the reprogramming of transplanted nuclei.

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