Non-coding RNAs and chromatin: key epigenetic factors from spermatogenesis to transgenerational inheritance

Cheuquemán, Carolina; Maldonado Rodrigo

Keywords: methylation, chromatin, embryonic development, epigenome, Offspring, epigenetic inheritance


Cellular fate and gene expression patterns are modulated by different epigenetic factors including non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and chromatin organization. Both factors are dynamic throughout male germ cell differentiation on the seminiferous tubule, despite the transcriptional inactivation in the last stages of spermatogenesis. Sperm maturation during the caput-to-cauda transit on the epididymis involves changes in chromatin organization and the soma-to-germ line transference of ncRNAs that are essential to obtain a functional sperm for fertilization and embryo development. Here, the male environment (diseases, drugs, mental stress) is crucial to modulate these epigenetic factors throughout sperm maturation, affecting the corresponding offspring. Paternal transgenerational inheritance has been directly related to sperm epigenetic changes, most of them associated with variations in the ncRNA content and chromatin marks. Our aim is to give an overview about how epigenetics, focused on ncRNAs and chromatin, is pivotal to understand spermatogenesis and sperm maturation, and how the male environment impacts the sperm epigenome modulating the offspring gene expression pattern.

Más información

Título de la Revista: Biological Research volume
Volumen: 54
Número: 1
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 13
Idioma: English

Notas: WOS