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Genome-wide dynamic changes in DNA methylation are indispensable for germline development and genomic imprinting in mammals. Here, we report single-base resolution DNA methylome and transcriptome maps of mouse germ cells, generated using whole-genome shotgun bisulfite sequencing and cDNA sequencing (mRNA-seq). Oocyte genomes showed a significant positive(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) is a mechanism by which double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) suppress specific transcripts in a sequence-dependent manner. dsRNAs are processed by Dicer to 21-24-nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and then incorporated into the argonaute (Ago) proteins. Gene regulation by endogenous siRNAs has been observed only in organisms(More)
Only mammals have relinquished parthenogenesis, a means of producing descendants solely from maternal germ cells. Mouse parthenogenetic embryos die by day 10 of gestation. Bi-parental reproduction is necessary because of parent-specific epigenetic modification of the genome during gametogenesis. This leads to unequal expression of imprinted genes from the(More)
We have used Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dyes to monitor intracellular Ca2+ during mitosis in one-cell mouse embryos. We find that fertilized embryos generate Ca2+ transients at nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD) and during mitosis. In addition, fertilized embryos arrested in metaphase using colcemid continue to generate Ca2+ transients. In contrast,(More)
BACKGROUND Because the Japanese native cattle Kuchinoshima-Ushi have been isolated in a small island and their lineage has been intensely protected, it has been assumed to date that numerous and valuable genomic variations are conserved in this cattle breed. RESULTS In this study, we evaluated genetic features of this breed, including single nucleotide(More)
DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays a crucial role in normal mammalian development, retrotransposon silencing, and cellular reprogramming. Although methylation mainly occurs on the cytosine in a CG site, non-CG methylation is prevalent in pluripotent stem cells, brain, and oocytes. We previously identified non-CG methylation in several(More)
Mature mouse oocytes are arrested at metaphase of the second meiotic division. Completion of meiosis and a block to polyspermy is caused by a series of repetitive Ca2+ transients triggered by the sperm at fertilization. These Ca2+ transients have been widely reported to last for a number of hours but when, or why, they cease is not known. Here we show that(More)
During mammalian fertilization, the sperm triggers a series of intracellular Ca2+ oscillations which initiate oocyte activation and the formation of pronuclei. Oocyte activation can be induced artificially by a variety of chemical and physical stimuli which elevate intracellular calcium. We show that the transfer of nuclei from 1- and 2-cell-stage(More)
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been generated by enforced expression of defined sets of transcription factors in somatic cells. It remains controversial whether iPSCs are molecularly and functionally equivalent to blastocyst-derived embryonic stem (ES) cells. By comparing genetically identical mouse ES cells and iPSCs, we show here that their(More)
Nanog is a novel pluripotential cell-specific gene that plays a crucial role in maintaining the undifferentiated state of early postimplantation embryos and embryonic stem (ES) cells. We have explored the expression pattern and function of Nanog and a Nanog-homologue, Nanog-ps1.Nanog-ps1 was mapped on Chromosome 7 and shown to be a pseudogene.(More)