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Sci Rep. 2014 Nov 20;4:7137. doi: 10.1038/srep07137.

Transcriptome-wide variability in single embryonic development cells.

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1] Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, 14-1 Baba-cho, 997-0035, Tsuruoka, Japan [2] Systems Biology Program, Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, 5322 Endo, 252-0882, Fujisawa, Japan.


Molecular heterogeneity of individual molecules within single cells has been recently shown to be crucial for cell fate diversifications. However, on a global scale, the effect of molecular variability for embryonic developmental stages is largely underexplored. Here, to understand the origins of transcriptome-wide variability of oocytes to blastocysts in human and mouse, we examined RNA-Seq datasets. Evaluating Pearson correlation, Shannon entropy and noise patterns (η(2) vs. μ), our investigations reveal a phase transition from low to saturating levels of diversity and variability of transcriptome-wide expressions through the development stages. To probe the observed behaviour further, we utilised a stochastic transcriptional model to simulate the global gene expressions pattern for each development stage. From the model, we concur that transcriptome-wide regulation initially begins from 2-cell stage, and becomes strikingly variable from 8-cell stage due to amplification and quantal transcriptional activity.

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