Methylation Changes of Lysine 9 of Histone H3 during Preimplantation Mouse Development

  • Yeo, Seungeun (Laboratory of Development and Differentiation, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) ;
  • Lee, Kyung-Kwang (Laboratory of Development and Differentiation, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) ;
  • Han, Yong-Mahn (Laboratory of Development and Differentiation, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) ;
  • Kang, Yong-Kook (Laboratory of Development and Differentiation, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology)
  • Received : 2005.08.17
  • Accepted : 2005.08.29
  • Published : 2005.12.31


Immediately after fertilization, a chromatin remodeling process in the oocyte cytoplasm extracts protamine molecules from the sperm-derived DNA and loads histones onto it. We examined how the histone H3-lysine 9 methylation system is established on the remodeled sperm chromatin in mice. We found that the paternal pronucleus was not stained for dimethylated H3-K9 (H3-$m_2K9$) during pronucleus development, while the maternal genome stained intensively. Such H3-$m_2K9$ asymmetry between the parental pronuclei was independent of $HP1{\beta}$ localization and, much like DNA methylation, was preserved to the two-cell stage when the nucleus appeared to be compartmentalized for H3-$m_2K9$. A conspicuous increase in H3-$m_2K9$ level was observed at the four-cell stage, and then the level was maintained without a visible change up to the blastocyst stage. The behavior of H3-$m_2K9$ was very similar, but not identical, to that of 5-methylcytosine during preimplantation development, suggesting that there is some connection between methylation of histone and of DNA in early mouse development.


Active Demethylation;DNA Methylation;Epigenetic Reprogramming;Histone Methylation;Preimplantation Embryo;Pronucleus


Supported by : Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Rural Development Administration, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry


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