Remodeling of Maternal Mrna Through Poly(A) Tail Orchestrates Human Oocyte-to-Embryo Transition

Yusheng Liu, Han Zhao, Fanghong Shao, Yiwei Zhang, Hu Nie, Jingye Zhang, Cheng Li, Zhenzhen Hou, Zi-Jiang Chen, Jiaqiang Wang, Bing Zhou, Keliang Wu & Falong Lu

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology


Poly(A)-tail-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of maternal mRNAs is vital in the oocyte-to-embryo transition (OET). Nothing is known about poly(A) tail dynamics during the human OET. Here, we show that poly(A) tail length and internal non-A residues are highly dynamic during the human OET, using poly(A)-inclusive RNA isoform sequencing (PAIso-seq). Unexpectedly, maternal mRNAs undergo global remodeling: after deadenylation or partial degradation into 3?-UTRs, they are re-polyadenylated to produce polyadenylated degradation intermediates, coinciding with massive incorporation of non-A residues, particularly internal long consecutive U residues, into the newly synthesized poly(A) tails. Moreover, TUT4 and TUT7 contribute to the incorporation of these U residues, BTG4-mediated deadenylation produces substrates for maternal mRNA re-polyadenylation, and TENT4A and TENT4B incorporate internal G residues. The maternal mRNA remodeling is further confirmed using PAIso-seq2. Importantly, maternal mRNA remodeling is essential for the first cleavage of human embryos. Together, these findings broaden our understanding of the post-transcriptional regulation of maternal mRNAs during the human OET.