Zhang W. et al.
Farrerol, a natural flavanone, promotes homologous recombination (HR) repair to improve genome-editing efficiency, but the specific protein that farrerol directly targets to regulate HR repair and the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been determined. Here, we find that the deubiquitinase UCHL3 is the direct target of farrerol. Mechanistically, farrerol enhanced the deubiquitinase activity of UCHL3 to promote RAD51 deubiquitination, thereby improving HR repair. Importantly, we find that embryos of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) exhibited defective HR repair, increased genomic instability and aneuploidy, and that the farrerol treatment post nuclear transfer enhances HR repair, restores transcriptional and epigenetic network, and promotes SCNT embryo development. Ablating UCHL3 significantly attenuates farrerol-mediated stimulation in HR and SCNT embryo development. In summary, we identify farrerol as an activator of the deubiquitinase UCHL3, highlighted the importance of HR and epigenetic changes in SCNT reprogramming and provide a feasible method to promote SCNT efficiency.