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Mech Dev. 1998 May;73(2):183-91.

Mash2 is expressed in oogenesis and preimplantation development but is not required for blastocyst formation.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X5, Canada.


The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, Mash2, has been shown to be necessary for the development of the spongiotrophoblast of the mature chorioallantoic placenta of the mouse. Here we show that Mash2 is transcribed during oogenesis and expressed throughout preimplantation development, only becoming restricted to the diploid trophoblast around the time of implantation. This expression raised the possibility that Mash2 has earlier functions in the trophoblast lineage that were not detectable in mutant embryos because of the persistence of oogenetically derived protein. This was tested by generating viable Mash2-/- females by tetraploid rescue of the extraembryonic defect. Mutant embryos derived from such females showed no enhanced phenotype over embryos produced from heterozygous females, demonstrating unequivocally that neither maternal nor zygotic Mash2 is required for early trophoblast development. If Mash2 functions in other aspects of trophoblast development, it must act cooperatively with other factors.

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