Methylation status in the intragenic differentially methylated region of the IGF2 locus in Bos taurus indicus oocytes with different developmental competencies.
Oocyte quality is one of the most important aspects of in vitro embryo development. Extensive epigenetic programming must occur during oocyte growth and maturation. A specific DNA methylation pattern of the imprinted genes must be established on differentially methylated regions (DMR). The insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene is an important growth factor, and it is imprinted in several mammalian species. The aim of this study was to evaluate the methylation pattern on the DMR of the last exon of IGF2 in immature and mature bovine oocytes with different developmental competencies. Mature oocytes from large follicles were less methylated (28.93%) than immature oocytes from large follicles (77.38% P = 0.002), and there was also a tendency towards lower methylation in mature oocytes from large follicles (28.93%) compared with mature oocytes from small follicles (52.58% P = 0.07). Immature oocytes from small and large follicles showed 53.85% (7/13) and 91.66% (11/12) hypermethylated sequences, respectively, whereas mature oocytes from small and large follicles showed 61.11% (11/18) and 40% (4/10), respectively. The hypomethylation pattern in mature oocytes from large follicles may be related to the higher competence of these oocytes. Our results suggest that the methylation pattern in this DMR may be a useful parameter to investigate as a molecular marker for oocyte competence in cattle and as a model for studies in other species.DOI: 10.1093/molehr/gaq075