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

Cytokeratin filament assembly in the preimplantation mouse embryo.

The timing, spatial distribution and control of cytokeratin assembly during mouse early development has been studied using a monoclonal antibody, TROMA-1, which recognizes a 55,000 Mr trophectodermal cytokeratin (ENDO A). This protein was first detected in immunoblots at the 4-cell stage, and became more abundant at the 16-cell stage and later. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed assembled cytokeratin filaments in some 8-cell blastomeres, but not at earlier stages. At the 16-cell stage, filaments were found in both polarized (presumptive trophectoderm; TE) and apolar (presumptive inner cell mass; ICM) cells in similar proportions, although polarized cells possessed more filaments than apolar cells. By the late 32-cell, early blastocyst, stage, all polarized (TE) cells contained extensive filament networks whereas cells positioned inside the embryo tended to have lost their filaments. The presence of filaments in inside cells at the 16-cell stage and in ICM cells was confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Lineage tracing techniques demonstrated that those cells in the ICM of early blastocysts which did possess filaments were almost exclusively the progeny of polar 16-cell blastomeres, suggesting that these filaments were directly inherited from outside cells at the 16- to 32-cell transition. Inhibitor studies revealed that proximate protein synthesis but not mRNA synthesis is required for filament assembly at the 8-cell stage. These results demonstrate that there are quantitative rather than qualitative differences in the expression of cytokeratin filaments in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm cells of the mouse embryo.[1]


  1. Cytokeratin filament assembly in the preimplantation mouse embryo. Chisholm, J.C., Houliston, E. Development (1987) [Pubmed]
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