Oocyte-to-embryo transition is a process during which an oocyte ovulates, is fertilized, and becomes a developing embryo. It involves the first major genome reprogramming event in life of an organism where gene expression, which gave rise to a differentiated oocyte, is remodeled in order to establish totipotency in blastomeres of an early embryo. This remodeling involves replacement of maternal RNAs with zygotic RNAs through maternal RNA degradation and zygotic genome activation. This review is focused on expression and function of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and small RNAs during oocyte-to-embryo transition in mammals. LncRNAs are an assorted rapidly evolving collection of RNAs, which have no apparent protein-coding capacity. Their biogenesis is similar to mRNAs including transcriptional control and post-transcriptional processing. Diverse molecular and biological roles were assigned to lncRNAs although most of them probably did not acquire a detectable biological role. Since some lncRNAs serve as precursors for small noncoding regulatory RNAs in RNA silencing pathways, both types of noncoding RNA are reviewed together.
The Holliday junction. The structure of the Holliday junction is highly variable, being adaptable to its biological function in recombination and to applications in biomolecular engineering. This image shows the how the junction extends from simple schematics to crystal structures as DNA only and in protein complexes. In addition, the junction has been exploited as an element in the design of 2-D and 3-D lattices in crystal engineering and more complex images and shapes through DNA origami. In this issue of Biochemical Society Transactions, P. Shing Ho reviews some interesting recent research on the Holliday junction; for details see pages 1149–1158.
Long and small noncoding RNAs during oocyte-to-embryo transition in mammals
Petr Svoboda; Long and small noncoding RNAs during oocyte-to-embryo transition in mammals. Biochem Soc Trans 15 October 2017; 45 (5): 1117–1124. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20170033
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