Z-decay: degradation of maternal mRNAs by zygotically expressed factors

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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Maternal transcripts accumulate in the oocyte during oogenesis. Subsets of maternal transcripts are degraded during later development of the unfertilized oocyte and after fertilization of the oocyte. Zygotic decay (Z-decay) refers to the degradation of maternal transcripts by factors expressed by the zygotic genome after fertilization. In the zygote the YAP1:TEAD4 complex activates expression of TUT4 and TUT7 which then uridylate the 3' ends of specific, partially deadenylated maternal transcripts (inferred from mouse zygotes in Sha et al. 2020). The terminal uridylate residues recruit PABPN1 which recruits the 3'-5' ribonuclease DIS3L2 to degrade the mRNA (inferred from mouse homologs in Zhao et al. 2022). Absence of TUT4, TUT7, or PABPN1 results in altered mRNA abundances (inferred from mouse zygotes in Morgan et al. 2017, Sha et al. 2020, Zhao et al. 2022) and infertility (Morgan et al. 2017, Zhao et al. 2022). BTG4 expressed in oocytes and present in zygotes also plays a role in Z-decay possibly by recruiting the CCR4-NOT complex to deadenylate mRNAs prior to uridylation (inferred from mouse zygotes in Sha et al. 2020). Similar patterns of expression and mRNA decay are observed in human and mouse zygotes (Sha et al. 2020).
Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
34904664 Nuclear poly(A) binding protein 1 (PABPN1) mediates zygotic genome activation-dependent maternal mRNA clearance during mouse early embryonic development

Zhao, LW, Fan, HY, Zhu, YZ, Shen, L, Pi, SB, Wu, YW

Nucleic Acids Res 2022
33004802 Dynamics and clinical relevance of maternal mRNA clearance during the oocyte-to-embryo transition in humans

Li, S, Fan, HY, Zhang, S, Zheng, W, Lin, G, Ou, XH, Wu, YW, Sha, QQ, Guo, L

Nat Commun 2020
28792939 mRNA 3' uridylation and poly(A) tail length sculpt the mammalian maternal transcriptome

Azzi, C, Much, C, DiGiacomo, M, Morgan, M, Vitsios, DM, Moreira, PN, Ivanova, I, Pistolic, J, O'Carroll, D, Enright, AJ, Benes, V, Collier, P

Nature 2017
31777931 Characterization of zygotic genome activation-dependent maternal mRNA clearance in mouse

Li, S, Fan, HY, Zhu, YZ, Shen, L, Ou, XH, Chen, L, Sha, QQ, Sun, XH, Jiang, Y

Nucleic Acids Res 2020
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