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Guan-Feng Xu, Cheng-Cheng Gong, Yu-Lin Tian, Tong-Yu Fu, Yi-Guang Lin, Hao Lyu, Yu-Ling Peng, Chun-Mei Tong, Qi-Li Feng, Qi-Sheng Song, Si-Chun Zheng. DNA methylation-mediated expression of zinc finger protein 615 affects embryonic development in Bombyx mori. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(4): 552-565. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.031
Citation: Guan-Feng Xu, Cheng-Cheng Gong, Yu-Lin Tian, Tong-Yu Fu, Yi-Guang Lin, Hao Lyu, Yu-Ling Peng, Chun-Mei Tong, Qi-Li Feng, Qi-Sheng Song, Si-Chun Zheng. DNA methylation-mediated expression of zinc finger protein 615 affects embryonic development in Bombyx mori. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(4): 552-565. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.031

DNA methylation-mediated expression of zinc finger protein 615 affects embryonic development in Bombyx mori

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2022.031
Funds:  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31872286, 32100374)
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: sczheng@scnu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2022-03-30
  • Accepted Date: 2022-05-24
  • Published Online: 2022-05-24
  • Cell division and differentiation after egg fertilization are critical steps in the development of embryos from single cells to multicellular individuals and are regulated by DNA methylation via its effects on gene expression. However, the mechanisms by which DNA methylation regulates these processes in insects remain unclear. Here, we studied the impacts of DNA methylation on early embryonic development in Bombyx mori. Genome methylation and transcriptome analysis of early embryos showed that DNA methylation events mainly occurred in the 5' region of protein metabolism-related genes. The transcription factor gene zinc finger protein 615 (ZnF615) was methylated by DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) to be up-regulated and bind to protein metabolism-related genes. Dnmt1 RNA interference (RNAi) revealed that DNA methylation mainly regulated the expression of nonmethylated nutrient metabolism-related genes through ZnF615. The same sites in the ZnF615 gene were methylated in ovaries and embryos. Knockout of ZnF615 using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing decreased the hatching rate and egg number to levels similar to that of Dnmt1 knockout. Analysis of the ZnF615 methylation rate revealed that the DNA methylation pattern in the parent ovary was maintained and doubled in the offspring embryo. Thus, Dnmt1-mediated intragenic DNA methylation of the transcription factor ZnF615 enhances its expression to ensure ovarian and embryonic development.
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