Maternal expression of the histone demethylase Kdm4a is crucial for pre-implantation development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Regulation of chromatin composition through post-translational modifications of histones contributes to transcriptional regulation and is essential for many cellular processes, including differentiation and development. KDM4A (JMJD2A) is a lysine demethylase with specificity towards di- and tri-methylated lysine 9 and lysine 36 of histone H3 (H3K9me2/me3 and H3K36me2/me3). Here, we report that Kdm4a as a maternal factor plays a key role in embryo survival and is vital for female fertility. Kdm4a−/− female mice ovulate normally with comparable fertilization but poor implantation rates, and cannot support healthy transplanted embryos to term. This is due to a role for Kdm4a in uterine function, where its loss causes reduced expression of key genes involved in ion transport, nutrient supply and cytokine signalling, which impact embryo survival. In addition, a significant proportion of Kdm4a-deficient oocytes displays a poor intrinsic ability to develop into blastocysts. These embryos cannot compete with healthy embryos for implantation in vivo, highlighting Kdm4a as a maternal effect gene. Thus, our study dissects an important dual role for maternal Kdm4a in determining faithful early embryonic development and the implantation process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)3264-3277
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Epigenetics, Female fertility, Histone demethylase, Maternal effect, Pre-implantation development, Transcription

ID: 187550550