About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Role of Epigenetics in the Development of Egg Cells

by Anjali Aryamvally on January 2, 2018 at 11:57 AM
Font : A-A+

Role of Epigenetics in the Development of Egg Cells

Keeping egg cells in stasis during childhood is a key part of female fertility. New study published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology sheds light on the role of epigenetics in placing egg cells into stasis. A team led by Dr Gavin Kelsey in the Babraham Institute and colleagues in Dresden and Munich studied a protein called MLL2 and discovered how it produces a distinctive pattern of epigenetic marks that are needed for egg cell stasis.

Advertisement


A fertilised egg cell is the start of every human life. Yet, egg cells are created inside a woman's body before she is born. The eggs are then kept in stasis throughout childhood until they're needed as an adult. If egg cells don't go into stasis they can't become mature eggs and they will never have the chance to form a new life. Putting an egg cell into stasis involves adding many epigenetic marks throughout its DNA. Epigenetic marks attached to DNA act as footnotes, indicating which genes are turned 'on' or 'off'. The scientists wanted to understand where these marks come from in egg cells and how mistakes can cause disease. It is particularly challenging to study epigenetics in egg cells as there are so few of them. The team had to create new, highly sensitive ways to detect epigenetic marks in such small numbers of cells.

Using this approach, they found that, as eggs develop, a mark called H3K4me3 spreads throughout the genome. Scientists have already seen the same mark close to the start of active genes in many cells, but the team discovered that its role in egg cells is different. They showed that the MLL2 protein is responsible for this unusual placement of H3K4me3 in egg cells. Without MLL2, most H3K4me3 marks in egg cells are lost and the cells die before getting the chance to form a new life.
Advertisement

Speaking about the results, first author Dr Courtney Hanna, said: "Our findings show that H3K4me3 is created in two ways. MLL2 can add the H3K4me3 mark without any nearby gene activity while another process, that doesn't use MLL2, places the same mark around active genes. By studying this new mechanism we hope to expand our knowledge of epigenetics in general as well as adding to our understanding of fertility." Lead scientist, Dr Kelsey, said: "We are only beginning to unravel the details of the connection between epigenetics and egg development, a fundamental aspect of biology that may play a part in transmitting information from mother to fetus. Discoveries like this highlight some of the unusual biological processes that take place in these highly important cells."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Epigenetics Types of Food Allergies Top Ten Healthy Winter Foods Top Ten Budget-Friendly Foods Fat-Burning Foods for Men Top Ten Incredible Benefits of Eggs and Why Should They be Part of your Daily Diet 

Recommended Reading
Role of Epigenetics in Preeclampsia
Upregulation of DLX5 gene due to loss of imprinting triggers other preeclamptic genes that result .....
Role of Epigenetics in Cancer Development
Epigenetics show modification of gene expression. New study shows the role of epigenetics and ......
Understanding the Link Between Epigenetics and Neural Cell Death
How deregulation of an epigenetic mechanism triggers the subsequent death of neural cells has been ....
Epigenetics Helps Solve a Mystery of Early Embryonic Development
New technique to map epigenetic modifications helps unravel a key mystery of the earliest stage of ....
Epigenetics
In the recent years ‘epigenetics’ represents inheritable changes in gene expression that do not incl...
Fat-Burning Foods for Men
What are the best fat-burning foods? Some vegetables like spinach, mushrooms; certain nuts, legumes ...
Top Ten Budget-Friendly Foods
Cut down on cost and include healthy foods in your daily diet. Cooking creatively helps you eat heal...
Top Ten Healthy Winter Foods
Eating healthy winter foods is necessary to derive all the essential nutrients needed by the body du...
Top Ten Incredible Benefits of Eggs and Why Should They be Part of your Daily Diet
Top ten incredible reasons why eating eggs can make you healthier and brainier. Eggs are powerhouse ...
Types of Food Allergies
If you are allergic to certain food items-Watch out for what you eat...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use