Transcriptional Regulation and Genes Involved in First Lineage Specification During Preimplantation Development

Part of the Advances in Anatomy, Embryology and Cell Biology book series (ADVSANAT, volume 229)


The successful development from a single-cell zygote into a complex multicellular organism requires precise coordination of multiple cell-fate decisions. The very first of these is lineage specification into the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) during mammalian preimplantation development. In mouse embryos, transcription factors (TFs) such as Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog are enriched in cells of ICM, which gives rise to the fetus and yolk sac. Conversely, TFs such as Cdx2 and Eomes become highly upregulated in TE, which contribute to the placenta. Here, we review the current understanding of key transcriptional control mechanisms and genes responsible for these distinct differences during the first cell lineage specification. In particular, we highlight recent insights gained through advances in genome manipulation, live imaging, single-cell transcriptomics, and loss-of-function studies.



This work is supported in part by NIH HD078942 and HD083311 to JM. WC is supported in part by Lalor Foundation postdoctoral fellowship.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Veterinary and Animal SciencesUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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