DNA Methylation Landscape of the Fibrinogen Gene Cluster in the Equine Embryo
The initial weeks of equine pregnancy includes the unique phase of embryo mobility from day 9 until fixation on day 15. Fixation of the embryo to the uterine wall occurs before a microvillous attachment at ~day 40. Throughout the mobility period the equine embryo expresses and secretes fibrinogen, a protein best known for its involvement in the coagulation cascade and wound repair. The aim of this MSc project was to contribute to the characterization of conceptus-derived fibrinogen at the time of fixation. We confirmed early embryo expression in the absence of hepatic activity, as well as describe expression by the later fetal-placenta. We characterized DNA methylation across the fibrinogen gene cluster for equine liver, day 14 embryos, and endometrium. The methylation landscape of equine embryos is distinct from both liver and endometrium. However, in key regulatory regions the embryo and liver profiles were the same. The similarity to liver methylation in known regulatory regions supports fibrinogen expression by the embryo and suggests its involvement in gene regulation. In addition to our genetic characterization, we trialed various in vitro assays in an attempt to determine the possible role of fibrinogen at the embryo-maternal interface. Overall this study has contributed to our ongoing effort to provide context for the novel extra-hepatic expression of fibrinogen by the pre-implantation conceptus.
Fibrinogen, Equine Embryo, Fixation, bisulphite sequencing
Grant, D. M. (2018). DNA Methylation Landscape of the Fibrinogen Gene Cluster in the Equine Embryo (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/33140