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Epigenetic Reprogramming in Early Animal Development

Zhenhai Du, Ke Zhang, Wei Xie

Abstract: Dramatic nuclear reorganization occurs during early development to convert terminally differentiated gametes to a totipotent zygote, which then gives rise to an embryo. Aberrant epigenome resetting severely impairs embryo development and even leads to lethality. How the epigenomes are inherited, reprogrammed, and reestablished in this critical developmental period has gradually been unveiled through the rapid development of technologies including ultrasensitive chromatin analysis methods. In this review, we summarize the latest findings on epigenetic reprogramming in gametogenesis and embryogenesis, and how it contributes to gamete maturation and parental-to-zygotic transition. Finally, we highlight the key questions that remain to be answered to fully understand chromatin regulation and nuclear reprogramming in early development.
Keywords: chromatin / differentiated / Epigenetic Reprogramming / embryo / epigenome / gametes / early / development

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