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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of syndecan, a putative low affinity fibroblast growth factor receptor, in the early mouse embryo.

Syndecan is an integral membrane proteoglycan that binds cells to several interstitial extracellular matrix components and binds to basic fibroblast-growth factor (bFGF) thus promoting bFGF association with its high-affinity receptor. We find that syndecan expression undergoes striking spatial and temporal changes during the period from the early cleavage through the late gastrula stages in the mouse embryo. Syndecan is detected initially at the 4-cell stage. Between the 4-cell and late morula stages, syndecan is present intracellularly and on the external surfaces of the blastomeres but is absent from regions of cell-cell contact. At the blastocyst stage, syndecan is first detected at cell-cell boundaries throughout the embryo and then, at the time of endoderm segregation, becomes restricted to the first site of matrix accumulation within the embryo, the interface between the primitive ectoderm and primitive endoderm. During gastrulation, syndecan is distributed uniformly on the basolateral cell surfaces of the embryonic ectoderm and definitive embryonic endoderm, but is expressed with an anteroposterior asymmetry on the surface of embryonic mesoderm cells, suggesting that it contributes to the process of mesoderm specification. In the extraembryonic region, syndecan is not detectable on most cells of the central core of the ectoplacental cone, but is strongly expressed by cells undergoing trophoblast giant cell differentiation and remains prominent on differentiated giant cells, suggesting a role in placental development. Immunoprecipitation studies indicate that the size of the syndecan core protein, although larger than that found in adult tissues (75 versus 69 x 10(3) Mr), does not change during peri-implantation development. The size distribution of the intact proteoglycan does change, however, indicating developmental alterations in its glycosaminoglycan composition. These results indicate potential roles for syndecan in epithelial organization of the embryonic ectoderm, in differential axial patterning of the embryonic mesoderm and in trophoblast giant cell function.[1]


  1. Expression of syndecan, a putative low affinity fibroblast growth factor receptor, in the early mouse embryo. Sutherland, A.E., Sanderson, R.D., Mayes, M., Seibert, M., Calarco, P.G., Bernfield, M., Damsky, C.H. Development (1991) [Pubmed]
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