Genome-Wide Distribution of Nascent Transcripts in Sperm DNA, Products of a Late Wave of General Transcription

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Kianmehr L., Khazali H., Rajabi-Maham H., Sharifi-Zarchi A., Cuzin F., Rassoulzadegan M.

CELLS, vol.8, no.10, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/cells8101196
  • Title of Journal : CELLS


Mature spermatozoa contain a whole repertoire of the various classes of cellular RNAs, both coding and non-coding. It was hypothesized that after fertilization they might impact development, a claim supported by experimental evidence in various systems. Despite the current increasing interest in the transgenerational maintenance of epigenetic traits and their possible determination by RNAs, little remains known about conservation in sperm and across generations and the specificities and mechanisms involved in transgenerational maintenance. We identified two distinct fractions of RNAs in mature mouse sperm, one readily extracted in the aqueous phase of the classical TRIzol procedure and a distinct fraction hybridized with homologous DNA in DNA-RNA complexes recovered from the interface, purified after DNase hydrolysis and analyzed by RNA-seq methodology. This DNA-associated RNA (D RNA) was found to represent as much as half of the cell contents in differentiated sperm, in which a major part of the cytoplasmic material has been discarded. Stable complexes were purified free of proteins and identified as hybrids (R-loops) on the basis of their sensitivity to RNase H hydrolysis. Further analysis by RNA-seq identified transcripts from all the coding and non-coding regions of the genome, thus revealing an extensive wave of transcription, prior to or concomitant with the terminal compaction of the chromatin.