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PLoS biology DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001914

Mitosis gives a brief window of opportunity for a change in gene transcription.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHalley-Stott, RP, Jullien, J, Pasque, V, Gurdon, J
JournalPLoS biology
Date Published2014/07/01

Cell differentiation is remarkably stable but can be reversed by somatic cell nuclear transfer, cell fusion, and iPS. Nuclear transfer to amphibian oocytes provides a special opportunity to test transcriptional reprogramming without cell division. We show here that, after nuclear transfer to amphibian oocytes, mitotic chromatin is reprogrammed up to 100 times faster than interphase nuclei. We find that, as cells traverse mitosis, their genes pass through a temporary phase of unusually high responsiveness to oocyte reprogramming factors (mitotic advantage). Mitotic advantage is not explained by nuclear penetration, DNA modifications, histone acetylation, phosphorylation, methylation, nor by salt soluble chromosomal proteins. Our results suggest that histone H2A deubiquitination may account, at least in part, for the acquisition of mitotic advantage. They support the general principle that a temporary access of cytoplasmic factors to genes during mitosis may facilitate somatic cell nuclear reprogramming and the acquisition of new cell fates in normal development.