Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is the only method known to rapidly reprogram differentiated cells into totipotent embryos. Most cloned embryos become arrested before implantation and the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remain largely unknown. Dynamic regulation of the transcriptome is a key molecular mechanism driving early embryonic development. Here, we report comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of cloned embryos (from Laiwu and Duroc pigs) and in vivo fertilized embryos (from Duroc pigs) using RNA-sequencing. Comparisons between gene expression patterns were performed according to differentially expressed genes, specific-expressed genes, first-expressed genes, pluripotency genes and pathway enrichment analysis. In addition, we closely analyzed the improperly expressed histone lysine methyltransferases and histone lysine demethylases during cell reprogramming in cloned embryos. In summary, we identified altered gene expression profiles in porcine cloned pre-implantation embryos in comparison to normal in vivo embryos. Our findings provide a substantial framework for further discovery of the epigenetic reprogramming mechanisms in porcine SCNT embryos.
He, X., Tan, C., Li, Z., Zhao, C., Shi, J., Zhou, R., … Wu, Z. (2019). Characterization and comparative analyses of transcriptomes of cloned and in vivo fertilized porcine pre-implantation embryos. Biology Open, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.1242/bio.039917