Yano Seiichi at al.
Establishment of the DNA methylation landscape of mammalian oocytes, mediated by the DNMT3A-DNMT3L complex, is crucial for reproduction and development. In mouse oocytes, high levels of DNA methylation occur exclusively in the transcriptionally active regions, with moderate to low levels of methylation in other regions. Histone H3K36me3 mediates the high levels of methylation in the transcribed regions; however, it is unknown which histone mark guides the methylation in the other regions. Here, we show that, in mouse oocytes, H3K36me2 is highly enriched in the X chromosome and is broadly distributed across all autosomes. Upon H3K36me2 depletion, DNA methylation in moderately methylated regions is selectively affected, and a methylation pattern unique to the X chromosome is switched to an autosome-like pattern. Furthermore, we find that simultaneous depletion of H3K36me2 and H3K36me3 results in global hypomethylation, comparable to that of DNMT3A depletion. Therefore, the two histone marks jointly provide the chromatin platform essential for guiding DNMT3A-dependent DNA methylation in mouse oocytes.