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EMBO J. 2015 Jun 3;34(11):1523-37. doi: 10.15252/embj.201490648. Epub 2015 Apr 20.

The first murine zygotic transcription is promiscuous and uncoupled from splicing and 3' processing.

Author information

1
Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.
2
Bioinformatics Group, Division of Biology, Faculty of Science, Zagreb University, Zagreb, Croatia.
3
Department of Medical Genome Science, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
4
Bioinformatics Group, Division of Biology, Faculty of Science, Zagreb University, Zagreb, Croatia Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
5
Institute of Molecular Genetics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic svobodap@img.cas.cz rschultz@sas.upenn.edu aokif@k.u-tokyo.ac.jp.
6
Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA svobodap@img.cas.cz rschultz@sas.upenn.edu aokif@k.u-tokyo.ac.jp.
7
Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan svobodap@img.cas.cz rschultz@sas.upenn.edu aokif@k.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

Abstract

Initiation of zygotic transcription in mammals is poorly understood. In mice, zygotic transcription is first detected shortly after pronucleus formation in 1-cell embryos, but the identity of the transcribed loci and mechanisms regulating their expression are not known. Using total RNA-Seq, we have found that transcription in 1-cell embryos is highly promiscuous, such that intergenic regions are extensively expressed and thousands of genes are transcribed at comparably low levels. Striking is that transcription can occur in the absence of defined core-promoter elements. Furthermore, accumulation of translatable zygotic mRNAs is minimal in 1-cell embryos because of inefficient splicing and 3' processing of nascent transcripts. These findings provide novel insights into regulation of gene expression in 1-cell mouse embryos that may confer a protective mechanism against precocious gene expression that is the product of a relaxed chromatin structure present in 1-cell embryos. The results also suggest that the first zygotic transcription itself is an active component of chromatin remodeling in 1-cell embryos.

KEYWORDS:

RNA‐Seq; gene expression; preimplantation mouse embryo; pre‐mRNA splicing; transcription

PMID:
25896510
PMCID:
PMC4474528
DOI:
10.15252/embj.201490648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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