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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 7, 1994; 91(12): 5456–5460.

Analysis of gene expression in the preimplantation mouse embryo: use of mRNA differential display.


The analysis of differential gene expression during preimplantation embryogenesis has been hindered by the paucity of biological material. We report modifications of the recently described mRNA differential display method (Liang, P. & Pardee, A. B. (1992) Science 257, 967-971) to analyze differential gene expression during mouse preimplantation development. The method detects the appropriate changes in the temporal pattern of expression of an amplicon that by DNA sequence analysis is the cytokeratin endo A, a gene whose temporal pattern of expression has been previously determined by S1 nuclease digestion. In addition, this method identifies amplicons that likely represent genes (i) that encode maternal mRNAs, (ii) that are products of early and late zygotic gene activation, (iii) whose expression is greatest during the eight-cell stage (i.e., expressed in a stage-specific manner), and (iv) whose expression is greatest in the blastocyst. In addition to endo A, sequence analysis of these amplicons reveals that an amplicon that displays a temporal pattern of expression consistent with it being a maternal mRNA is the alpha subunit of the mitochondrial F1 ATP synthase.

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