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DNA replication in the 1-cell mouse embryo: stimulatory effect of histone acetylation

  • Fugaku Aoki (a1) (a2) and Richard M. Schultz (a1)


Temporal and spatial distribution of the sites of DNA replication were examined in 1-cell mouse embryos. Embryos were labelled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) at hourly intervals after fertilisation, and the incorporation of BrdU was examined by laser-scanning confocal microscopy following immunostaining with an anti-BrdU antibody. DNA replication first started uniformly in both the male and female pronuclei in the intranuclear region and then was observed in the peripheral regions of nucleus and nucleolus. These changes, however, occurred asynchronously in that the female pronucleus required a longer time to complete replication in the intranuclear region but not in the peripheral regions. Inhibiting transcription with α-amanitin had no effect on the temporal and spatial patterns of DNA replication. Treatment of the embryos with trapoxin, a specific inhibitor of histone deacetylase, accelerated the completion of replication in the peripheral regions but not in the intranuclear region. These results suggest that DNA replication is temporally and spatially regulated in the 1-cell embryos and that acetylation of histones, but not transcription, is involved in the regulation of DNA replication.


Corresponding author

Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018, USA. Telephone: +1 (215) 898 7869. Fax: +1 (215) 898 8780. e-mail:



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