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The basal position of nuclei is one pre-requisite for asymmetric cell divisions in the early mouse embryo

Ajduk, Anna and Biswas Shivhare, Sourima and Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena (2014) The basal position of nuclei is one pre-requisite for asymmetric cell divisions in the early mouse embryo. Developmental Biology, 392 (2). pp. 133-140. ISSN 0012-1606. PMCID PMC4111899. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.05.009.

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The early mouse embryo undertakes two types of cell division: symmetric that gives rise to the trophectoderm and then placenta or asymmetric that gives rise to inner cells that generate the embryo proper. Although cell division orientation is important, the mechanism regulating it has remained unclear. Here, we identify the relationship between the plane of cell division and the position of the nucleus and go towards identifying the mechanism behind it. We first find that as the 8-cell embryo progresses through the cell cycle, the nuclei of most – but not all – cells move from apical to more basal positions, in a microtubule- and kinesin-dependent manner. We then find that all asymmetric divisions happen when nuclei are located basally and, in contrast, all cells, in which nuclei remain apical, divide symmetrically. To understand the potential mechanism behind this, we determine the effects of modulating expression of Cdx2, a transcription factor key for trophectoderm formation and cell polarity. We find that increased expression of Cdx2 leads to an increase in a number of apical nuclei, whereas down-regulation of Cdx2 leads to more nuclei moving basally, which explains a previously identified relationship between Cdx2 and cell division orientation. Finally, we show that down-regulation of aPKC, involved in cell polarity, decreases the number of apical nuclei and doubles the number of asymmetric divisions. These results suggest a model in which the mutual interdependence of Cdx2 and cell polarity affects the cytoskeleton-dependent positioning of nuclei and, in consequence, the plane of cell division in the early mouse embryo.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Biswas Shivhare, Sourima0000-0002-3704-1186
Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena0000-0002-7004-2471
Additional Information:© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Under a Creative Commons license (Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)) Received 22 March 2014, Revised 6 May 2014, Accepted 7 May 2014, Available online 20 May 2014. We thank David Glover, Krzysztof Wicher, Maria Skamagki and Paula Almeida Coelho for their comments and assistance. The work was funded by the Wellcome Trust with grant to M.Z.-G. A.A. was supported by the Homing-Plus grant and the Kolumb supporting grant from the Foundation for Polish Science.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Foundation for Polish Science HOMING PLUS ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Mammalian embryo; Preimplantation development; Division plane; Cell polarity; Cytoskeleton
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC4111899
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190405-170316275
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Official Citation:Anna Ajduk, Sourima Biswas Shivhare, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, The basal position of nuclei is one pre-requisite for asymmetric cell divisions in the early mouse embryo, Developmental Biology, Volume 392, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 133-140, ISSN 0012-1606, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94549
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Apr 2019 15:16
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:05

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