Overcoming Intrinsic H3K27me3 Imprinting Barriers Improves Post-implantation Development after Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Leyun Wang, Zhikun Li, Libin Wang, Chao Liu, Xuehan Sun, Guihai Feng, Jiaqiang Wang, Yufei Li, Lianyong Qiao, Hu Nie, Liyuan Jiang, Hao Sun, Yali Xie, Sinan Ma, Haifeng Wan, Falong Lu, Wei Li, Qi Zhou

Cell Stem Cell


Successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) requires overcoming significant epigenetic barriers. Genomic imprinting is not generally regarded as such a barrier, although H3K27me3-dependent imprinting is differentially distributed in E6.5 epiblast and extraembryonic tissues. Here we report significant enhancement of SCNT efficiency by deriving somatic donor cells carrying simultaneous monoallelic deletion of four H3K27me3-imprinted genes from haploid mouse embryonic stem cells. Quadruple monoallelic deletion of Sfmbt2Jade1Gab1, and Smoc1 normalized H3K27me3-imprinted expression patterns and increased fibroblast cloning efficiency to 14% compared with a 0% birth rate from wild-type fibroblasts while preventing the placental and body overgrowth defects frequently observed in cloned animals. Sfmbt2 deletion was the most effective of the four individual gene deletions in improving SCNT. These results show that lack of H3K27me3 imprinting in somatic cells is an epigenetic barrier that impedes post-implantation development of SCNT embryos and can be overcome by monoallelic imprinting gene deletions in donor cells.