Sperm Originated Chromatin Imprints and LincRNAs in Organismal Development and Cancer

Importance of sperm-derived transcripts and chromatin imprints in organismal development is poorly investigated. Here using an integrative approach, University of Gothenburg researchers show that human sperm transcripts are equally important as oocyte. Sperm-specific and sperm-oocyte common transcripts carry distinct chromatin structures at their promoters correlating with corresponding transcript levels in sperm. Interestingly, sperm-specific H3K4me3 patterns at the lincRNA promoters are not maintained in the germ layers and somatic tissues. However, bivalent chromatin at the sperm-specific protein-coding gene promoters is maintained throughout the development. Sperm-specific transcripts reach their peak expression during zygotic genome activation, whereas sperm-oocyte common transcripts are present during early preimplantation development but decline at the onset of zygotic genome activation. Additionally, there is an inverse correlation between sperm-specific and sperm-oocyte lincRNAs throughout the development. Sperm-lincRNAs also show aberrant activation in tumors. Overall, these observations indicate that sperm transcripts carrying chromatin imprints may play an important role in human development and cancer.

Subhash S, Kanduri M, Kanduri C. (2020) Sperm Originated Chromatin Imprints and LincRNAs in Organismal Development and Cancer. iScience 23(6):101165. [article]

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