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Role of histone posttranslational modifications in the regulation of ovarian function

LE Mei-Ling1,2, ZENG Lian-Jie1,2, LUO Tao2,3, ZHENG Li-Ping1,2,*

1Basic Medical College, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330013, China;2Key Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology and Pathology of Jiangxi Province, Nanchang 330013, China;3Life Science Research Institute of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330013, China


The ovary is the reproductive organ of female mammals, which is responsible for producing mature eggs and secreting sex hormones. The regulation of ovarian function involves the ordered activation and repression of genes related to cell growth and differentiation. In recent years, it has been found that histone posttranslational modification can affect DNA replication, damage repair and gene transcriptional activity. Some regulatory enzymes mediating histone modification are co-activators or co-inhibitors associated with transcription factors, which play important roles in the regulation of ovarian function and the development of ovary-related diseases. Therefore, this review outlines the dynamic patterns of common histone modifications (mainly acetylation and methylation) during the reproductive cycle and their regulation of gene expression for important molecular events, focusing on the mechanisms of follicle development and sex hormone secretion and function. For example, the specific dynamics of histone acetylation are important for the arrest and resumption of meiosis in oocytes, while histone (especially H3K4) methylation affects the maturation of oocytes by regulating their chromatin transcriptional activity and meiotic progression. Besides, histone acetylation or methylation can also promote the synthesis and secretion of steroid hormones before ovulation. Finally, the abnormal histone posttranslational modifications in the development of two common ovarian diseases (premature ovarian insufficiency and polycystic ovary syndrome) are briefly described. It will provide a reference basis for understanding the complex regulation mechanism of ovarian function and further exploring the potential therapeutic targets of related diseases.

Key words: histone posttranslational modification; ovary; functional regulation

Received:   Accepted:

Corresponding author: ZHENG Li-Ping  E-mail: ,

DOI: 10.13294/j.aps.2023.0005

Citing This Article:

LE Mei-Ling, ZENG Lian-Jie, LUO Tao, ZHENG Li-Ping. Role of histone posttranslational modifications in the regulation of ovarian function. Acta Physiol Sin 2023; 75 (1): 91-98 (in Chinese with English abstract).