Gatekeeper of pluripotency: A common Oct4 transcriptional network operates in mouse eggs and embryonic stem cells
An oocyte-specific methylation imprint mark region, consisting of approximately 200 bp from the mouse imprinted gene U2afbp-rs, was identified within an area containing a CpG island and a short tandem repeat sequence. The oocyte-specific methylation was preserved in fertilized eggs and then expanded on the repressed maternal allele during preimplantation development until the adult methylation pattern was achieved by 12.5 days of embryonic development. These results indicate that the oocyte-specific imprinting mark region acts as a center in establishing the hypermethylated region on the repressed maternal allele. Furthermore, a region that is hypermethylated in both gametes was identified but its hypermethylation was conserved only on the maternal allele during preimplantation development, suggesting that some factor(s) inherited from oocytes may act to maintain hypermethylation on the maternal allele.