An Epigenetic Cause of Miscarriages Is Identified and Cured in Mice

Dr. Azusa Inoue
Researchers led by Azusa Inoue, PhD, at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS) in Japan have discovered a gene responsible for prenatal death when critical transgenerational instructions are missing from egg cells. Published April 28, 2022 in Genes & Development, the study shows that in mice, failed epigenetic suppression of an X-chromosome gene called Xist leads to miscarriage and developmental abnormalities. The article is titled “Noncanonical Imprinting Sustains Embryonic Development and Restrains Placental Overgrowth.” “This study identified genes critical for fetal development whose expression is controlled by histone modifications transmitted from eggs to the next generation,” says Dr. Inoue. “The findings have implications for understanding infertility and developing treatments.”
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