Sexually dimorphic gene expression emerges with embryonic genome activation and is dynamic throughout development.
295 - ?
MetadataShow full item record
BACKGROUND: As sex determines mammalian development, understanding the nature and developmental dynamics of the sexually dimorphic transcriptome is important. To explore this, we generated 76 genome-wide RNA-seq profiles from mouse eight-cell embryos, late gestation and adult livers, together with 4 ground-state pluripotent embryonic (ES) cell lines from which we generated both RNA-seq and multiple ChIP-seq profiles. We complemented this with previously published data to yield 5 snap-shots of pre-implantation development, late-gestation placenta and somatic tissue and multiple adult tissues for integrative analysis. RESULTS: We define a high-confidence sex-dimorphic signature of 69 genes in eight-cell embryos. Sex-chromosome-linked components of this signature are largely conserved throughout pre-implantation development and in ES cells, whilst the autosomal component is more dynamic. Sex-biased gene expression is reflected by enrichment for activating and repressive histone modifications. The eight-cell signature is largely non-overlapping with that defined from fetal liver, neither was it correlated with adult liver or other tissues analysed. The number of sex-dimorphic genes increases throughout development. We identified many more dimorphic genes in adult compared to fetal liver. However, approximately two thirds of the dimorphic genes identified in fetal liver were also dimorphic in adult liver. Sex-biased expression differences unique to adult liver were enriched for growth hormone-responsiveness. Sexually dimorphic gene expression in pre-implantation development is driven by sex-chromosome based transcription, whilst later development is characterised by sex dimorphic autosomal transcription. CONCLUSION: This systematic study identifies three distinct phases of sex dimorphism throughout mouse development, and has significant implications for understanding the developmental origins of sex-specific phenotypes and disease in mammals.
AuthorsLowe, R; Gemma, C; Rakyan, VK; Holland, ML
- College Publications