Summary: 5.3 Epigenetics In Development | Jochem Louisse

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  • 1 Embryonic Development

  • What are the first three stages of embryonic development?

    1: fertilized human egg: zygote
    2: solid ball of cells: morula
    3: hollow ball of cells: blastocyst. With inner cell mass (ICM), which will form all tissue

  • What are the differences between the paternal and maternal pronucleus (PN), and why?

    pat PN: lacks histone modification (H3K9me2 and H3K27me3), loses 5-methylcytosine (5-MeC) on genome wide scale. mat PN: has both. Oocyte genome is transcriptionally inactive, but maternally inherited transcripts and proteins are needed for the first cleavages.

  • What are the different stages of embronic stem cells in differentiation potential? (3)

    zygote: totipotent; ICM/ES cells: pluripotent; somatic stem cells: multipotent

  • What are the three germ layers, and what tissue do they form?

    1. endoderm: GI tract, lungs
    2. mesoderm: muscle, bone, blood, urogenital tract
    3. ectoderm: epidermal, nervous system

  • How is pluripotency and differentiation epigenetically regulated?

    pluripotency: epigenetic regulators and pluripotency factors activate pluripotency genes (via H3K4me3) and repress differentiation-genes (via H3K27me3).
    differentiation: miRNAs downregulate pluripotency factors, specifically activated differentiation-gene groups lose repressive marks.

  • 2 X-chromosome Inactivation

  • What is X-chromosome inactivation?

    Occurs only in females, silencing of one X-chromosome. Allows dosage compensation in comparison to males, which only have one X-chromosome. 

  • How is X-chromosome inactivation regulated? (3)

    1: first cleavage: paternal X-chromosome imprinted inactivation
    2: after blastocyst formation: ICM reactivate paternal X-chromosome; trophoectoderm and primitive endoderm retain inactive paternal X-chromosome.
    3: differentiattion ICM: stochastic inactivation of either one X-chromosome.

  • What is the mechanism of X-chromosome inactivation in mice?

    major regulator: Xist gene, lies in specific region on X-chromosome called  X inactivation center (XIC).
    Non-coding gene, expressed by inactive X-chrom., produces a RNA coating over inactive X-chrom.
    Tsix gene is expressed from the active X-chrom, inhibits Xist expression from active X-chrom.

  • What actions does the Xist RNA coating have? (3)

    1: recruitment of histone variant macro H2A
    2: H3 and H4 modification
    3: promotes CpG methylation
    All lead to gene silencing initiation and maintenance

  • 3 Genomic Imprinting

    This is a preview. There are 5 more flashcards available for chapter 3
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  • What is the conflict of interest in embryonic development for the father and the mother?

    Father: wants the mother to devote maximum resources towards embryonic growth.
    Mother: want to conserve resources towards future births, without compromising the health of the current embryo.

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