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Dynamic and distinct histone modifications facilitate human trophoblast lineage differentiation.

Scientific Reports 2024 Februrary 25
The placenta serves as an essential organ for fetal growth throughout pregnancy. Histone modification is a crucial regulatory mechanism involved in numerous biological processes and development. Nevertheless, there remains a significant gap in our understanding regarding the epigenetic regulations that influence trophoblast lineage differentiation, a fundamental aspect of placental development. Here, through comprehensive mapping of H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, and H3K27ac loci during the differentiation of trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) into syncytiotrophoblasts (STs) and extravillous trophoblasts (EVTs), we reveal dynamic reconfiguration in H3K4me3 and H3K27ac patterns that establish an epigenetic landscape conducive to proper trophoblast lineage differentiation. We observe that broad H3K4me3 domains are associated with trophoblast lineage-specific gene expression. Unlike embryonic stem cells, TSCs lack robust bivalent domains. Notably, the repression of ST- and EVT-active genes in TSCs is primarily attributed to the weak H3K4me3 signal rather than bivalent domains. We also unveil the inactivation of TSC enhancers precedes the activation of ST enhancers during ST formation. Our results provide a comprehensive global map of diverse histone modifications, elucidating the dynamic histone modifications during trophoblast lineage differentiation.

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