The majority of histones are replaced by protamines during spermatogenesis, but small amounts are retained in mammalian spermatozoa. Since nucleosomes in spermatozoa influence epigenetic inheritance, it is important to know how histones are distributed in the sperm genome. Conflicting data, which may result from different conditions used for micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion, have been reported: retention of nucleosomes at either gene promoter regions or within distal gene-poor regions. Here, we find that the swim-up sperm used in many studies contain about 10% population of sperm which have not yet completed the histone-to-protamine replacement. We develop a method to purify histone replacement-completed sperm (HRCS) and to completely solubilize histones from cross-linked HRCS without MNase digestion. Our results indicate that histones are retained at specific promoter regions in HRCS. This method allows the study of epigenetic status in mature sperm.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)