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Parental epigenetic control of embryogenesis: a balance between inheritance and reprogramming?

Authors
Journal
Current Opinion in Cell Biology
0955-0674
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
24
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ceb.2012.03.002
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Computer Science

Abstract

At fertilization, fusion of two differentiated gametes forms the zygote that is capable of forming all of the varied cell lineages of an organism. It is widely thought that the acquisition of totipotency involves extensive epigenetic reprogramming of the germline state into an embryonic state. However, recent data argue that this reprogramming is incomplete and that substantial epigenetic information passes from one generation to the next. In this review we summarize the changes in chromatin states that take place during mammalian gametogenesis and examine the evidence that early mammalian embryogenesis may be affected by inheritance of epigenetic information from the parental generation.

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