Reinforcement of repressive marks in the chicken primordial germ cell epigenetic signature: divergence from basal state resetting in mammals - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Epigenetics & Chromatin Year : 2024

Reinforcement of repressive marks in the chicken primordial germ cell epigenetic signature: divergence from basal state resetting in mammals

Abstract

Background In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs), the embryonic precursors of the germline, arise from embryonic or extra-embryonic cells upon induction by the surrounding tissues during gastrulation, according to mechanisms which are elucidated in mice but remain controversial in primates. They undergo genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming, consisting of extensive DNA demethylation and histone post-translational modification (PTM) changes, toward a basal, euchromatinized state. In contrast, chicken PGCs are specified by preformation before gastrulation based on maternally-inherited factors. They can be isolated from the bloodstream during their migration to the genital ridges. Our prior research highlighted differences in the global epigenetic profile of cultured chicken PGCs compared with chicken somatic cells and mammalian PGCs. This study investigates the acquisition and evolution of this profile during development. Results Quantitative analysis of global DNA methylation and histone PTMs, including their distribution, during key stages of chicken early development revealed divergent PGC epigenetic changes compared with mammals. Unlike mammalian PGCs, chicken PGCs do not undergo genome-wide DNA demethylation or exhibit a decrease in histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation. However, chicken PGCs show 5‑hydroxymethylcytosine loss, macroH2A redistribution, and chromatin decompaction, mirroring mammalian processes. Chicken PGCs initiate their epigenetic signature during migration, progressively accumulating high global levels of H3K9me3, with preferential enrichment in inactive genome regions. Despite apparent global chromatin decompaction, abundant heterochromatin marks, including repressive histone PTMs, HP1 variants, and DNA methylation, persists in chicken PGCs, contrasting with mammalian PGCs. Conclusions Chicken PGCs’ epigenetic signature does not align with the basal chromatin state observed in mammals, suggesting a departure from extensive epigenetic reprogramming. Despite disparities in early PGC development, the persistence of several epigenetic features shared with mammals implies their involvement in chromatin-regulated germ cell properties, with the distinctive elevation of chicken-specific H3K9me3 potentially participating in these processes.
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hal-04566077 , version 1 (02-05-2024)

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Clémence Kress, Luc Jouneau, Bertrand Pain. Reinforcement of repressive marks in the chicken primordial germ cell epigenetic signature: divergence from basal state resetting in mammals. Epigenetics & Chromatin, 2024, 17 (1), pp.11. ⟨10.1186/s13072-024-00537-7⟩. ⟨hal-04566077⟩
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