Scientific reports

The Dynamics and Regulatory Mechanism of Pronuclear H3k9me2 Asymmetry in Mouse Zygotes.

PMID 26639638


H3K9 methylation is an important histone modification that is correlated with gene transcription repression. The asymmetric H3K9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) pattern between paternal and maternal genomes is generated soon after fertilization. In the present study, we carefully determined the dynamics of H3K9me2 changes in mouse zygotes, and investigated the regulatory mechanisms. The results indicated that histone methyltransferase G9a, but not GLP, was involved in the regulation of asymmetric H3K9me2, and G9a was the methyltransferase that induced the appearance of H3K9me2 in the male pronucleus of the zygote treated with cycloheximide. We found that there were two distinct mechanisms that regulate H3K9me2 in the male pronucleus. Before 8 h of in vitro fertilization (IVF), a mechanism exists that inhibits the association of G9a with the H3K9 sites. After 10 h of IVF the inhibition of G9a activity depends on yet unknown novel protein(s) synthesis. The two mechanisms of transfer take place between 8-10 h of IVF, and the novel protein failed to inhibit G9a activity in time, resulting in the appearance of a low level de novo H3K9me2 in the male pronucleus.