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Expression of proto-oncogenes in mouse eggs and preimplantation embryos

Expression of proto-oncogenes in mouse eggs and preimplantation embryos

Molecular Reproduction and Development 35(1): 8-15

The expression of several protooncogenes has been investigated in mouse eggs and preimplantation embryos using reverse transcription coupled to amplification of cDNAs by the polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The genes chosen for analysis included both cytoplasmic (c-raf-1, rasH, rasK, and rasN) and nuclear (c-fos and c-myc) proto-oncogenes encoding proteins involved in the transduction of signals from protein-tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors. Transcripts of the cytoplasmic proto-oncogenes were detected both as maternal and embryonic mRNAs at levels (ca. 1,000 copies per egg or embryo) approximately comparable to their levels of transcription in somatic cells. Transcripts of c-fos and c-myc were also detected in both eggs and embryos, although at more variable levels: Maternal transcripts were present at very low levels (ca. 1-10 copies per egg) in growing oocytes and ovulated eggs: embryonic transcription of c-myc increased, reaching mRNA levels of approximately 100-1,000 copies per embryo in four-cell embryos, morula, and blastocysts; in contrast the transcription of c-fos remained at low, barely detectable levels throughout preimplantation development. Although the significance of the low levels of c-fos mRNA is unclear, these results indicate that preimplantation embryos possess the basic intracellular signaling apparatus required to respond to polypeptide growth factors.

Accession: 002379020

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PMID: 8507485

DOI: 10.1002/mrd.1080350103

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