Metabolic proteins relocate to jump-start an embryo ’s genome, UCLA study finds

FINDINGSTo turn on its genome — the full set of genes inherited from each parent — a mammalian embryo needs to relocate a group of proteins, researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered. The metabolic proteins, normally found in the energy-generating mitochondria of cells, move to the DNA-containing nuclei about two days after a mouse embryo is fertilized, according to the new study, led by senior author Utpal Banerjee.BACKGROUNDEarly in development, a mammalian embryo — or zygote — has all the materials it needs to grow and divide from genes and proteins that were contained in the egg cell. But after a few cell divisions, the zygote needs to activate its own genome. Researchers have never fully understood how this shift is made. They knew that certain metabol ic compounds, such a pyruvate, were required, but had also observed that the mitochondria — which normally process pyruvate into energy — were small and inactive during this stage of development.METHODBanerjee, a professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology and co-director of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center, and colleagues confirmed that pyruvate was required for zygotes to activate their genomes by growing mouse zygotes in a culture dish lacking pyruvate. Then, in both mouse and human embryos, researchers used a number of methods to determine the location of proteins that process p...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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Young boys are often left infertile after childhood cancer treatment, with no way of preserving their sperm. Now, new research might allow them to father children.
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Publication date: Available online 10 October 2018Source: Trends in GeneticsAuthor(s): Aaron C. Goldstrohm, Traci M. Tanaka Hall, Katherine M. McKenneyMammalian Pumilio proteins, PUM1 and PUM2, are members of the PUF family of sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins. In this review, we explore their mechanisms, regulatory networks, biological functions, and relevance to diseases. Pumilio proteins bind an extensive network of mRNAs and repress protein expression by inhibiting translation and promoting mRNA decay. Opposingly, in certain contexts, they can activate protein expression. Pumilio proteins also regulate noncoding (...
Source: Trends in Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research
Abstract Mammalian Pumilio proteins, PUM1 and PUM2, are members of the PUF family of sequence-specific RNA-binding proteins. In this review, we explore their mechanisms, regulatory networks, biological functions, and relevance to diseases. Pumilio proteins bind an extensive network of mRNAs and repress protein expression by inhibiting translation and promoting mRNA decay. Opposingly, in certain contexts, they can activate protein expression. Pumilio proteins also regulate noncoding (nc)RNAs. The ncRNA, ncRNA activated by DNA damage (NORAD), can in turn modulate Pumilio activity. Genetic analysis provides new insig...
Source: Trends in Genetics : TIG - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Authors: Tags: Trends Genet Source Type: research
Abstract Stem cells are ideal seeding cells, which have the potential for self-renewal and multiple differentiation, and they play a fundamental role in maintaining homeostasis and regenerating and repairing tissue. The discovery of female germline stem cells (FGSCs) brings much hope for the postnatal renewal of oocytes and solving some female infertility problems. Ovarian function declines with increasing female age. Moreover, ovarian germline stem cell niche-aging could be the main cause of ovarian senescence, which ultimately leads to decreased follicle generation, declining female fertility, and age-related di...
Source: Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine - Category: Reproduction Medicine Authors: Tags: Syst Biol Reprod Med Source Type: research
Authors: Zarandi NP, Galdon G, Kogan S, Atala A, Sadri-Ardekani H Abstract While the survival rate of children with cancer is increasing, preserving fertility for prepubertal boys is still a challenge. Although intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using frozen sperms has revolutionized infertility treatment, it is not applicable for the patients who undergo chemotherapy before puberty since spermatogenesis has not begun. Therefore, preserving spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) as an experimental option can be provided to prepubertal patients at a risk of damage or loss of their SSCs due to cancer treatments and de...
Source: Stem Cells and Cloning: Advances and Applications - Category: Stem Cells Tags: Stem Cells Cloning Source Type: research
In this study, we reported a comprehensive genome-wide DNA methylation landscape in chicken germ cells, and transcriptomic dynamics was also presented. By uncovering DNA methylation patterns on individual genes, some genes accurately modulated by DNA methylation were found to be associated with cancers and virus infection, e.g., AKT1 and CTNNB1. Chicken-unique markers were also discovered for identifying male germ cells. Importantly, integrated epigenetic mechanisms were explored during male germ cell differentiation, which provides deep insight into the epigenetic processes associated with male germ cell differentiation a...
Source: Stem Cell Reports - Category: Stem Cells Source Type: research
(University of Maryland) A UMD researcher uncovered new mechanisms that dictate the development of germline stem cells. Mechanisms were found to be associated with genes responsible for cancers and viral infections among other major diseases. Markers used to identify male germ cells were discovered, exploring how environmental factors or epigenetics affect these cells and providing significant insight into treatments for male infertility. Findings set the stage for chickens as a more prominent model organism for stem cell research.
Source: EurekAlert! - Medicine and Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Source Type: news
A new study in the journal Nature Cell Biology has uncovered information about a key stage that human embryonic cells must pass through just before an embryo implants. The research, led by UCLA biologist Amander Clark, could help explain certain causes of infertility and spontaneous miscarriage.Infertility affects around 10 percent of the U.S. population, and roughly 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in the U.S. end in miscarriage. In many cases, the causes of infertility and miscarriage are unknown.A team led by Clark, a UCLA professor of molecular cell and developmental biology and member of the  Eli and Edythe Br...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news
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Source: Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology - Category: OBGYN Authors: Source Type: research
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