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Nat Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;25(9):1045-50. Epub 2007 Aug 19.

High-frequency generation of viable mice from engineered bi-maternal embryos.

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Department of BioScience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-8502, Japan.


Mammalian development to adulthood typically requires both maternal and paternal genomes, because genomic imprinting places stringent limitations on mammalian development, strictly precluding parthenogenesis. Here we report the generation of bi-maternal embryos that develop at a high success rate equivalent to the rate obtained with in vitro fertilization of normal embryos. These bi-maternal mice developed into viable and fertile female adults. The bi-maternal embryos, distinct from parthenogenetic or gynogenetic conceptuses, were produced by the construction of oocytes from fully grown oocytes and nongrowing oocytes that contain double deletions in the H19 differentially methylated region (DMR) and the Dlk1-Dio3 intergenic germline-derived DMR. The results provide conclusive evidence that imprinted genes regulated by these two paternally methylated imprinting-control regions are the only paternal barrier that prevents the normal development of bi-maternal mouse fetuses to term.

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