Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


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The identification of 101 genes upregulated or differentially expressed by mature human oocytes is provided herein. These genes and the corresponding gene products will facilitate a greater understanding of oogenesis, folliculogenesis, fertilization, and embryonic development. In addition these genes and the corresponding gene products can be used to effect dedifferentiation and/or transdifferentiation of desired somatic cells. The resultant dedifferentiated cells and somatic cells derived therefrom can be used in cell therapies such as in the treatment of cancer, autoimmunity, and other diseases wherein specific types of cells such as hematopoietic cells may be depleted because of the underlying disease or the treatment of the disease. Also, a core group of 66 transcripts was identified by intersecting significantly up-regulated genes of the human oocyte with those from the mouse oocyte and from human and mouse embryonic stem cells. Within the up-regulated probe sets, the top overrepresented categories were related to RNA and protein metabolism, followed by DNA metabolism and chromatin modification. This invention therefore provides a comprehensive expression baseline of genes expressed in in vivo matured human oocytes. Further understanding of the biological role of these genes will also expand knowledge on meiotic cell cycle, fertilization, chromatin remodeling, lineage commitment, pluripotency, tissue regeneration, and morphogenesis.