The influence of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer on epigenetic enzymes transcription in early embryos
One of the main reason for the incorrect development of embryos derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer is caused by insufficient demethylation of injected somatic chromatin to a state comparable with an early embryonic nucleus. It is already known that the epigenetic enzymes transcription in oocytes and early embryos of several species including bovine and porcine zygotes is species-dependent process and the incomplete DNA methylation correlates with the nuclear transfer failure rate in mammals. In this study the transcription of DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a (DNMT1, DNMT3a) genes in early embryonic stages of interspecies (bovine, porcine) nuclear transfer embryos (iSCNT) by RT-PCR were analyzed. Coming out from the diverse timing of embryonic genome activation (EGA) in porcine and bovine preimplantation embryos, the intense effect of ooplasm on transferred somatic cell nucleus was expected. In spite of the detection of ooplasmic DNA methyltransferases, the somatic genes for DNMT1 and DNMT3a enzymes were not expressed and the development of intergeneric embryos stopped at the 4-cell stage. Our results indicate that the epigenetic reprogramming during early mammalian development is strongly infl uenced by the ooplasmic environment.