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Development. 2002 Jun;129(11):2733-47.

Transcription factor AP-2gamma is essential in the extra-embryonic lineages for early postimplantation development.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University, 266 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.

Erratum in

  • Development 2002 Jul;129(13):3280.


The members of the AP-2 family of transcription factors play important roles during mammalian development and morphogenesis. AP-2gamma (Tcfap2c - Mouse Genome Informatics) is a retinoic acid-responsive gene implicated in placental development and the progression of human breast cancer. We show that AP-2gamma is present in all cells of preimplantation embryos and becomes restricted to the extra-embryonic lineages at the time of implantation. To study further the biological function of AP-2gamma, we have generated Tcfap2c-deficient mice by gene disruption. The majority of Tcfap2c(-/-) mice failed to survive beyond 8.5 days post coitum (d.p.c.). At 7.5 d.p.c., Tcfap2c(-/-) mutants were typically arrested or retarded in their embryonic development in comparison to controls. Morphological and molecular analyses of mutants revealed that gastrulation could be initiated and that anterior-posterior patterning of the epiblast remained intact. However, the Tcfap2c mutants failed to establish a normal maternal-embryonic interface, and the extra-embryonic tissues were malformed. Moreover, the trophoblast-specific expression of eomesodermin and Cdx2, two genes implicated in FGF-responsive trophoblast stem cell maintenance, was significantly reduced. Chimera studies demonstrated that AP-2gamma plays no major autonomous role in the development of the embryo proper. By contrast, the presence of AP-2gamma in the extra-embryonic membranes is required for normal development of this compartment and also for survival of the mouse embryo.

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