Sperm DNA fragmentation affects epigenetic feature in human male pronucleus
To evaluate whether the sperm DNA fragmentation affects male pronucleus epigenetic factors, semen analysis was performed and DNA fragmentation was assessed by the method of sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). Human-mouse interspecies fertilisation was used to create human male pronucleus. Male pronucleus DNA methylation and H4K12 acetylation were evaluated by immunostaining. Results showed a significant positive correlation between the level of sperm DNA fragmentation and DNA methylation in male pronuclei. In other words, an increase in DNA damage caused an upsurge in DNA methylation. In the case of H4K12 acetylation, no correlation was detected between DNA damage and the level of histone acetylation in the normal group, but results for the group in which male pronuclei were derived from sperm cells with DNA fragmentation, increased DNA damage led to a decreased acetylation level. Sperm DNA fragmentation interferes with the active demethylation process and disrupts the insertion of histones into the male chromatin in the male pronucleus, following fertilisation.