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Epigenetic Regulation and Risk Factors During the Development of Human Gametes and Early Embryos

Authors
  • Wang, Yang
  • Liu, Qiang
  • Tang, Fuchou
  • Yan, Liying
  • Qiao, Jie
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Aug 31, 2019
Volume
20
Pages
21–40
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-genom-083118-015143
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Drastic epigenetic reprogramming occurs during human gametogenesis and early embryo development. Advances in low-input and single-cell epigenetic techniques have provided powerful tools to dissect the genome-wide dynamics of different epigenetic molecular layers in these processes. In this review, we focus mainly on the most recent progress in understanding the dynamics of DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, and histone modifications in human gametogenesis and early embryo development. Deficiencies in remodeling of the epigenomes can cause severe developmental defects, infertility, and long-term health issues in offspring. Aspects of the external environment, including assisted reproductive technology procedures, parental diets, and unhealthy parental habits, may disturb the epigenetic reprogramming processes and lead to an aberrant epigenome in the offspring. Here, we review the current knowledge of the potential risk factors of aberrant epigenomes in humans.

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