by Yun Gao, Lin Li, Peng Yuan, Fan Zhai, Yixin Ren, Liying Yan, Rong Li, Ying Lian, Xiaohui Zhu, Xinglong Wu, Kehkooi Kee, Lu Wen, Jie Qiao, Fuchou Tang
Epigenetic dynamics, such as DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility, have been extensively explored in human preimplantation embryos. However, the active demethylation process during this crucial period remains largely unexplored. In this study, we use single-cell chemical-labeling-enabled C-to-T conversion sequencing (CLEVER-seq) to quantify the DNA 5-formylcytosine (5fC) levels of human preimplantation embryos. We find that 5-formylcytosine phosphate guanine (5fCpG) exhibits genomic element-specific distribution features and is enriched in L1 and endogenous retrovirus-K (ERVK), the subfamilies of repeat elements long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) and long terminal repeats (LTRs), respectively. Unlike in mice, paired pronuclei in the same zygote present variable difference of 5fCpG levels, although the male pronuclei experience stronger global demethylation. The nucleosome-occupied regions show a higher 5fCpG level compared with nucleosome-depleted ones, suggesting the role of 5fC in organizing nucleosome position. Collectively, our work offers a valuable resource for ten-eleven translocation protein family (TET)-dependent active demethylation-related study during human early embryonic development.