How maternal factors in oocytes initiate zygotic genome activation (ZGA) remains elusive. Recent studies indicate that DPPA2 and DPPA4 are required for establishing a 2-cell embryo-like (2C-like) state in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in a DUX-dependent manner. These results suggest that DPPA2 and DPPA4 are essential maternal factors that regulate Dux and ZGA in embryos. By analyzing maternal knockout and maternal-zygotic knockout embryos, we unexpectedly found that Dux activation, ZGA, and preimplantation development are normal in embryos without DPPA2 or DPPA4. Thus, unlike in ESCs/2C-like cells, DPPA2 and DPPA4 are dispensable for ZGA and preimplantation development.
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