Histone acetyltransferase KAT8 is essential for mouse oocyte development by regulating reactive oxygen species levels

Shi Yin, Xiaohua Jiang, Hanwei Jiang, Qian Gao, Fang Wang, Suixing Fan, Teka Khan, Nazish Jabeen, Manan Khan, Asim Ali, Peng Xu, Tej K. Pandita, Heng Yu Fan, Yuanwei Zhang, Qinghua Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Proper oocyte development is crucial for female fertility and requires timely and accurate control of gene expression. K (lysine) acetyltransferase 8 (KAT8), an important component of the X chromosome dosage compensation system in Drosophila, regulates gene activity by acetylating histone H4 preferentially at lysine 16. To explore the function of KAT8 during mouse oocyte development, we crossed Kat8flox/flox mice with Gdf9-Cre mice to specifically delete Kat8 in oocytes. Oocyte Kat8 deletion resulted in female infertility, with follicle development failure in the secondary and preantral follicle stages. RNA-seq analysis revealed that Kat8 deficiency in oocytes results in significant downregulation of antioxidant genes, with a consequent increase in reactive oxygen species. Intraperitoneal injection of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine rescued defective follicle and oocyte development resulting from Kat8 deficiency. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that KAT8 regulates antioxidant gene expression by direct binding to promoter regions. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that KAT8 is essential for female fertility by regulating antioxidant gene expression and identify KAT8 as the first histone acetyltransferase with an essential function in oogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2165-2174
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2017


  • Follicle
  • H4K16ac
  • Kat8
  • Oocyte
  • ROS
  • Sterility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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