SpermLINC project: Sperm Originated Chromatin Imprints and LincRNAs in Organismal Development and Cancer
Importance of sperm derived transcripts and chromatin imprints in organismal development is poorly investigated. Here using an integrative approach, we show that human sperm transcripts are equally important as oocyte. Sperm-specific and sperm-oocyte common transcripts carry unique chromatin structures at their promoters correlating with corresponding transcript levels in sperm. Interestingly, sperm-specific H3K4me3 patterns at the lincRNA promoters are not maintained in the germ layers and somatic tissues. However, bivalent chromatin at the sperm-specific protein coding gene promoters are maintained throughout the development. Sperm-specific transcripts reaches their peak expression during zygotic genome activation, whereas sperm-oocyte common transcripts are present during early preimplantation development but declines at the onset of zygotic genome activation. Additionally, there is an inverse correlation between sperm-specific and sperm-oocyte common lincRNAs throughout the development. Sperm lincRNAs also show aberrant activation in tumors. Overall, our observations indicate that sperm transcripts carrying chromatin imprints may play an important role in human development.