The Journal of biological chemistry

Maternal Sall4 Is Indispensable for Epigenetic Maturation of Mouse Oocytes.

PMID 28031467


Sall4 (Splat-like 4) plays important roles in maintaining pluripotency of embryonic stem cells and in various developmental processes. Here, we find that Sall4 is highly expressed in oocytes and early embryos. To investigate the roles of SALL4 in oogenesis, we generated Sall4 maternal specific knock-out mice by using CRISPR/Cas9 system, and we find that the maternal deletion of Sall4 causes developmental arrest of oocytes at germinal vesicle stage with non-surrounded nucleus, and the subsequent meiosis resumption is prohibited. We further discover that the loss of maternal Sall4 causes failure in establishment of DNA methylation in oocytes. Furthermore, we find that Sall4 modulates H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 modifications by regulating the expression of key histone demethylases coding genes Kdm5b, Kdm6a, and Kdm6b in oocytes. Moreover, we demonstrate that the aberrant H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 cause mis-expression of genes that are critical for oocytes maturation and meiosis resumption. Taken together, our study explores a pivotal role of Sall4 in regulating epigenetic maturation of mouse oocytes.