The chromatin remodeler Snf2h is essential for oocyte meiotic cell cycle progression

Chunxia Zhang, Zhiyuan Chen, Qiangzong Yin, Xudong Fu, Yisi Li, Tomas Stopka, Arthur I. Skoultchi, Yi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Oocytes are indispensable for mammalian life. Thus, it is important to understand how mature oocytes are generated. As a critical stage of oocytes development, meiosis has been extensively studied, yet how chromatin remodeling contributes to this process is largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling factor Snf2h (also known as Smarca5) plays a critical role in regulating meiotic cell cycle progression. Females with oocyte-specific depletion of Snf2h are infertile and oocytes lacking Snf2h fail to undergo meiotic resumption. Mechanistically, depletion of Snf2h results in dysregulation of meiosis-related genes, which causes failure of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) activation. ATAC-seq analysis in oocytes revealed that Snf2h regulates transcription of key meiotic genes, such as Prkar2b, by increasing its promoter chromatin accessibility. Thus, our studies not only demonstrate the importance of Snf2h in oocyte meiotic resumption, but also reveal the mechanism underlying how a chromatin remodeling factor can regulate oocyte meiosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Chromatin remodeling
  • Germ cell development
  • MPF activity
  • Meiotic resumption
  • Snf2h
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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