Oliver H. Tam

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Dicer is an RNase III-family nuclease that initiates RNA interference (RNAi) and related phenomena by generation of the small RNAs that determine the specificity of these gene silencing pathways. We have previously shown that Dicer is essential for mammalian development, with Dicer-deficient mice dying at embryonic day 7.5 with a lack of detectable(More)
Pseudogenes populate the mammalian genome as remnants of artefactual incorporation of coding messenger RNAs into transposon pathways. Here we show that a subset of pseudogenes generates endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) in mouse oocytes. These endo-siRNAs are often processed from double-stranded RNAs formed by hybridization of spliced(More)
Mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) can be derived from a wide range of developmental stages. To characterize and compare EpiSCs with different origins, we derived a series of EpiSC lines from pregastrula stage to late-bud-stage mouse embryos. We found that the transcriptomes of these cells are hierarchically distinct from those of the embryonic stem cells,(More)
MIWI catalytic activity is required for spermatogenesis, indicating that piRNA-guided cleavage is critical for germ cell development. To identify meiotic piRNA targets, we augmented the mouse piRNA repertoire by introducing a human meiotic piRNA cluster. This triggered a spermatogenesis defect by inappropriately targeting the piRNA machinery to mouse mRNAs(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of many mammalian genes and play key roles in embryonic hair follicle development; however, little is known of their functions in postnatal hair growth. We compared the effects of deleting the essential miRNA biogenesis enzymes Drosha and Dicer in mouse skin epithelial cells at successive postnatal time points.(More)
MOTIVATION Most RNA-seq data analysis software packages are not designed to handle the complexities involved in properly apportioning short sequencing reads to highly repetitive regions of the genome. These regions are often occupied by transposable elements (TEs), which make up between 20 and 80% of eukaryotic genomes. They can contribute a substantial(More)
During the course of preimplantation development, the mammalian embryo develops from a single totipotent cell into a blastocyst that is composed of three distinct cell types. Two waves of lineage specification events take place, setting aside a pluripotent cell population, the epiblast, from extraembryonic tissues. The epiblast that will form the somatic(More)
Twist1 is the mouse ortholog of TWIST1, the human gene mutated in Saethre-Chotzen syndrome. Previously, a Twist1 null allele was generated by gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells. Twist1 heterozygous mice develop polydactyly and a craniofacial phenotype similar to Saethre-Chotzen patients. Mice homozygous for the Twist1 null allele die around(More)
PIWI proteins and their associated piRNAs protect germ cells from the activity of mobile genetic elements. Two classes of piRNAs—primary and secondary—are defined by their mechanisms of biogenesis. Primary piRNAs are processed directly from transcripts of piRNA cluster loci, whereas secondary piRNAs are generated in an adaptive amplification loop, termed(More)
The timing of developmental events during early mouse development has been investigated in embryos that have been subject to experimental manipulation of cell number and tissue mass. These phenomenological studies revealed that the timing of preimplantation events, such as compaction, formation of blastocyst cavity and lineage allocation is correlated with(More)