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Mol Reprod Dev. 1997 Jun;47(2):148-56.

New member of the Snf1/AMPK kinase family, Melk, is expressed in the mouse egg and preimplantation embryo.

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Max-Planck-Institut, Freiburg, Germany.


The initial phase of mammalian preimplantation development is directed by stored maternal mRNAs and their encoded proteins, yet most of the molecules controlling this process have not been described. We have used differential display analysis of cDNA libraries prepared from unfertilized eggs and preimplantation embryos to isolate three maternal cDNAs that represent novel genes exhibiting different patterns of expression during this developmental period. One of these, Melk, encodes a protein with a kinase catalytic domain and a leucine zipper motif, a new member of the Snf1/AMPK family of kinases. This gene product may play a role in the signal transduction events in the egg and early embryo.

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