Hira-Mediated H3.3 Incorporation Is Required for DNA Replication and Ribosomal RNA Transcription in the Mouse Zygote
Developmental Cell, Vol. 30, Issue 3, p268–279, 2014
Chih-Jen Lin, Fong Ming Koh, Priscilla Wong, Marco Conti, Miguel Ramalho-Santos


Short description:
Chromatin reprogramming at fertilization is thought to be controlled by maternal factors. Lin et al. report that maternal Hira-mediated incorporation of the histone variant H3.3 is required for mouse zygote development. Hira/H3.3 regulates replication and transcription in both parental genomes and is also required for zygotic RNA Pol I-mediated transcription.
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Abstract taken from PubMed

Extensive chromatin reprogramming occurs at fertilization and is thought to be under the control of maternal factors, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We report that maternal Hira, a chaperone for the histone variant H3.3, is required for mouse development past the zygote stage. Male pronucleus formation is inhibited upon deletion of Hira due to a lack of nucleosome assembly in the sperm genome. Hira mutant oocytes are incapable of developing parthenogenetically, indicative of a role for Hira in the female genome. Both parental genomes show highly reduced levels of DNA replication and transcription in the mutants. It has long been thought that transcription is not required for zygote development. Surprisingly, we found that Hira/H3.3-dependent transcription of ribosomal RNA is required for first cleavage. Our results demonstrate that Hira-mediated H3.3 incorporation is essential for parental genome reprogramming and reveal an unexpected role for rRNA transcription in the mouse zygote.
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