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Single-cell analysis of Non-CpG methylation dynamics and gene expression in human oocyte maturation

By Bo Yu, Naresh Doni Jayavelu, Stephanie L. Battle, Thomas H. Smith, Samuel E Zimmerman, Timothy Schimmel, Jacques Cohen, Jessica C. Mar, R. David Hawkins

Posted 27 May 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/651141

Oocyte maturation is a coordinated process that is tightly linked to reproductive potential. A better understanding of gene regulation during human oocyte maturation will not only answer an important question in biology, but also facilitate the development of in vitro maturation technology as a fertility treatment. We generated single-cell transcriptome and use our previously published single-cell methylome data from human oocytes at different maturation stages to investigate how genes are regulated during oocyte maturation, focusing on the potential regulatory role of non-CG methylation. DNMT3B, a gene encoding a key non-CG methylation enzyme, is one of the 1000 genes upregulated in mature oocytes, which may be at least partially responsible for the increased non-CG methylation as oocytes mature. Non-CG differentially methylated regions (DMRs) between mature and immature oocytes have multiple binding motifs for transcription factors, some of which bind with DNMT3B and may be important regulators of oocyte maturation through non-CG methylation. Over 98% of non-CG DMRs locate in transposable elements, and these DMRs are correlated with expression changes of the nearby genes. Taken together, this data indicates that global non-CG hypermethylation during oocyte maturation may play an active role in gene expression regulation, potentially through the interaction with transcription factors.

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