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Trophectoderm mechanics direct epiblast shape upon embryo implantation

Weberling, Antonia and Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena (2021) Trophectoderm mechanics direct epiblast shape upon embryo implantation. Cell Reports, 34 (3). Art. No. 108655. ISSN 2211-1247. PMCID PMC7816124. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108655.

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Implantation is a hallmark of mammalian embryogenesis during which embryos establish their contacts with the maternal endometrium, remodel, and undertake growth and differentiation. The mechanisms and sequence of events through which embryos change their shape during this transition are largely unexplored. Here, we show that the first extraembryonic lineage, the polar trophectoderm, is the key regulator for remodeling the embryonic epiblast. Loss of its function after immuno-surgery or inhibitor treatments prevents the epiblast shape transitions. In the mouse, the polar trophectoderm exerts physical force upon the epiblast, causing it to transform from an oval into a cup shape. In human embryos, the polar trophectoderm behaves in the opposite manner, exerting a stretching force. By mimicking this stretching behavior in mouse embryogenesis, we could direct the epiblast to adopt the disc-like shape characteristic of human embryos at this stage. Thus, the polar trophectoderm acts as a conserved regulator of epiblast shape.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena0000-0002-7004-2471
Additional Information:© 2021 The Authors. Under a Creative Commons license - Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Received 8 May 2020, Revised 12 October 2020, Accepted 22 December 2020, Available online 19 January 2021. We are grateful to D. Glover, M.A. Molè, N. Christodoulou, C. Gantner, M. Shahbazi, H. Mudge, and E. Paluch for feedback. This study has been enabled through grants from the European Research Council (669198), the Wellcome Trust (207415/Z/17/Z), NIH Pioneer Award Fund (DP1 HD104575-01), Open Philanthropy/Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Weston Havens Foundation to M.Z.G. A.W. is supported by the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions grant (ImageInLife,721537) to M.Z.G. Author contributions. A.W. and M.Z.-G. conceived of and conceptualized the project. A.W. designed and carried out all experiments and data analysis. A.W. and M.Z.-G. wrote the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)669198
Wellcome Trust207415/Z/17/Z
NIHDP1 HD104575-01
Open PhilanthropyUNSPECIFIED
Silicon Valley Community FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Weston Havens FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie Fellowship721537
Subject Keywords:epiblast; trophectoderm; morphogenesis; mouse/human implantation; tissue remodeling
Issue or Number:3
PubMed Central ID:PMC7816124
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210119-143307098
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Antonia Weberling, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Trophectoderm mechanics direct epiblast shape upon embryo implantation, Cell Reports, Volume 34, Issue 3, 2021, 108655, ISSN 2211-1247,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107555
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:19 Jan 2021 23:30
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:04

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