Acetylation and methylation of sperm histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27ac and H3K27me3) are associated with bull fertility

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Summary: Epigenetic modifications in histones are crucial for proper sperm physiology, egg activation and reproductive development of males. The objectives of this study were to determine the conservation and interactomes of histone three (H3) and ascertain the expression dynamics of acetylated and methylated H3 lysine 27 (H3K27ac and H3K27me3) in spermatozoa from Holstein bulls with different fertility. Methods in immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry were used to evaluate the expression dynamics of H3K27ac and H3K27me3 in spermatozoa from 10 bulls with different in vivo fertility. Computational biology methods including Clustal Omega and Cytoscape were performed to determine the evolutionary conservation and interactome of H3. The post-translational modifications (PTM) of H3 (H3K27ac and H3K27me3) had different spatiotemporal dynamics in the sperm head. Intensities of methylation were higher than those of acetylation and inversely correlated between the two fertility groups (p =.0032). The interacting proteins of H3 are involved in critical subcellular processes such as regulation of methylation, nucleosome assembly, regulation of DNA replication and chromatin assembly. These results are significant because they help advance fundamental science and biotechnology of mammalian reproduction.



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