Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.763900
Title: Investigating the mechanisms and the temporal regulation of the first cell polarity establishment in the mouse embryo
Author: Zhu, Meng
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
Embryonic cells of many species polarise and the cell polarity is often important for the normal developmental progression. In the mouse embryo, the prototype of epithelial cell polarity, namely apico-basal polarisation, become established at the 2.5 days' post-fertilisation, when the embryos are at the 8-cell stage. The formation of apical domain is necessary and sufficient for the first segregation of extra-embryonic and embryonic cell lineages, as well as the following up morphogenetic transitions, such as the blastocyst formation. This study aims to explore the molecular pathways triggering the first cell polarity establishment in the mouse embryo, and to reveal the mechanism that programmes the timing of this event in the mouse embryo. The results showed that cell polarity establishment during the 8-cell stage development can be divided into two major phases: in the first phase actomyosin complex became polarised to the cell-contact free surface; and in the second phase apical proteins recruited to the actomyosin enriched cell-contact free cortex, they further became centralised in the cell-contact free surface, excluding the local actomyosin meshwork, resulting in the formation of actomyosin ring. The activation and assembly of actomyosin meshwork during the first phase, but not its contractility, was essential for apical protein recruitment. Factors responsible for actin cytoskeleton reorganisation included Phospholipase C (PLC) - Protein Kinase C (PKC) pathway components, they directly activated actomyosin in the first phase through the Rho proteins such as RhoA. Further results showed that the apical protein centralisation step required a proximate transcriptional input that was induced by two transcription factors, Tfap2c and Tead4. RNAi and Genetic depletion of these two factors prevented apical protein centralisation and the final apical domain assembly. The protein expression profile indicated that Tfap2c and Tead4 expression, and therefore their activity, were induced by zygotic genome activation. Significantly, overexpression of Tfap2c, Tead4, together with constitutively activated Rho proteins were sufficient to advance the timing of apical domain formation, indicating that the timer of cell polarity establishment at the 8-cell stage is set by the Rho proteins activation, and the zygotic transcriptional accumulation of Tfap2c and Tead4. Together, these results characterised the molecular events during the cell polarity establishment at the 8-cell stage mouse embryo, and identified the timing regulation of this event.
Supervisor: Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.763900  DOI:
Keywords: Cell polarity ; Cell fate ; Mouse embryo ; Preimplantation ; Developmental biology ; Zygotic genome activation
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