Post-translational modifications generally involve the addition or removal of various functional groups to or from the protein residues. However, citrullination, which is catalyzed by the peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), involves conversion of one kind of amino acid residue into another. One of five isoforms, PAD4 is a nuclear enzyme known to play a role in development, differentiation and apoptosis through gene regulation. To investigate the possible role of PAD4 in mammalian preimplantation embryonic development, we first studied localization and expression of PAD4 and citrullinated proteins in pig and mouse oocytes, and parthenogenetic or in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos. Immunofluorescence study revealed that PAD4 primarily localizes in the cytoplasm in pig oocytes and parthenogenetic embryos. However, the nuclear translocation of PAD4 was observed in late germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes prior to GV breakdown and was localized around the metaphase (M)I and II spindle. Nucleus localized PAD4 was noticed partially again in blastocysts. In mouse IVF embryos, nuclear translocation started from the 2-cell stage and gradually increased up to blastocyst. Western blot studies confirmed that PAD4 was expressed in oocytes, and parthenogenetic embryos of pig. Citrullinated proteins were detected in granular form on the chromatin in GV, MI and MII oocytes and nuclei in all the stages of the embryos studied. It was found that the target of citrullination was histone protein (H3), not B23. Therefore the presence of PAD4 and citrullinated histone H3 in oocytes and embryos suggested a possible role for PAD4 in preimplantation embryonic development.