Cao Z, Zhou N, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Wu R, Li Y, Zhang Y, Li N
DNA active demethylation is an important epigenetic phenomenon observed in porcine zygotes, yet its molecular origins are unknown. Our results show that 5-methylcytosine (5mC) converts into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) during the first cell cycle in porcine in vivo fertilization (IVV), IVF, and SCNT embryos, but not in parthenogenetically activated embryos. Expression of Ten-Eleven Translocation 1 (TET1) correlates with this conversion. Expression of 5mC gradually decreases until the morula stage; it is only expressed in the inner cell mass, but not trophectoderm regions of IVV and IVF blastocysts. Expression of 5mC in SCNT embryos is ectopically distinct from that observed in IVV and IVF embryos. In addition, 5hmC expression was similar to that of 5mC in IVV cleavage-stage embryos. Expression of 5hmC remained constant in IVF and SCNT embryos, and was evenly distributed among the inner cell mass and trophectoderm regions derived from IVV, IVF, and SCNT blastocysts. Ten-Eleven Translocation 3 was highly expressed in two-cell embryos, whereas TET1 and TET2 were highly expressed in blastocysts. These data suggest that TET1-catalyzed 5hmC may be involved in active DNA demethylation in porcine early embryos. In addition, 5mC, but not 5hmC, participates in the initial cell lineage specification in porcine IVV and IVF blastocysts. Last, SCNT embryos show aberrant 5mC and 5hmC expression during early porcine embryonic development.