April 21, 2020  |  

Precise temporal regulation of Dux is important for embryo development.

Authors: Guo, Mingyue and Zhang, Yanping and Zhou, Jianfeng and Bi, Yan and Xu, Junqin and Xu, Ce and Kou, Xiaochen and Zhao, Yanhong and Li, Yanhe and Tu, Zhifen and Liu, Kuisheng and Lin, Jiaming and Yang, Peng and Gao, Shaorong and Wang, Yixuan

Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) following fertilization is accomplished through a process termed the maternal-to-zygotic transition, during which the maternal RNAs and proteins are degraded and zygotic genome is transcriptionally activated.1 In mice, minor ZGA occurs from S phase of the zygote to G1 phase of the two-cell (2C) embryo, while major ZGA takes place during the middle-to-late 2C stage with a burst of transcription of totipotent cleavage stage-specific genes and retrotransposons.2Dux has been recently identified and considered as a master inducer that regulates the ZGA process.3–5Dux can directly bind and robustly activate 2C stage-specific ZGA transcripts and convert mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) to a 2C-like state with unique features that resembles the 2C embryos.4Intriguingly, ~20% embryos with zygotic depletion of Dux unexpectedly reached morula or blastocyst stage even though defective ZGA program was detected.

Journal: Cell research
DOI: 10.1038/s41422-019-0238-4
Year: 2019

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