Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.
A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.
In Situ Hybridization
The developmental entity of a fertilized chicken egg (ZYGOTE). The developmental process begins about 24 h before the egg is laid at the BLASTODISC, a small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK. After 21 days of incubation, the embryo is fully developed before hatching.
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.
The fertilized OVUM resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.
The development of anatomical structures to create the form of a single- or multi-cell organism. Morphogenesis provides form changes of a part, parts, or the whole organism.
Endogenous substances, usually proteins, which are effective in the initiation, stimulation, or termination of the genetic transcription process.
The processes occurring in early development that direct morphogenesis. They specify the body plan ensuring that cells will proceed to differentiate, grow, and diversify in size and shape at the correct relative positions. Included are axial patterning, segmentation, compartment specification, limb position, organ boundary patterning, blood vessel patterning, etc.
The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube.
The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.
Amino Acid Sequence
The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.
RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.
Genes whose loss of function or gain of function MUTATION leads to the death of the carrier prior to maturity. They may be essential genes (GENES, ESSENTIAL) required for viability, or genes which cause a block of function of an essential gene at a time when the essential gene function is required for viability.
Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.
The integration of exogenous DNA into the genome of an organism at sites where its expression can be suitably controlled. This integration occurs as a result of homologous recombination.
The entire nerve apparatus, composed of a central part, the brain and spinal cord, and a peripheral part, the cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses. (Stedman, 26th ed)
Embryo Culture Techniques
The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Cells derived from the BLASTOCYST INNER CELL MASS which forms before implantation in the uterine wall. They retain the ability to divide, proliferate and provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.
The developmental stage that follows BLASTULA or BLASTOCYST. It is characterized by the morphogenetic cell movements including invagination, ingression, and involution. Gastrulation begins with the formation of the PRIMITIVE STREAK, and ends with the formation of three GERM LAYERS, the body plan of the mature organism.
Fertilization in Vitro
A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the OVARY at OVULATION.
Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.
The first of four extra-embryonic membranes to form during EMBRYOGENESIS. In REPTILES and BIRDS, it arises from endoderm and mesoderm to incorporate the EGG YOLK into the DIGESTIVE TRACT for nourishing the embryo. In placental MAMMALS, its nutritional function is vestigial; however, it is the source of INTESTINAL MUCOSA; BLOOD CELLS; and GERM CELLS. It is sometimes called the vitelline sac, which should not be confused with the VITELLINE MEMBRANE of the egg.
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.
The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.
The outer of the three germ layers of an embryo.
Wnt proteins are a large family of secreted glycoproteins that play essential roles in EMBRYONIC AND FETAL DEVELOPMENT, and tissue maintenance. They bind to FRIZZLED RECEPTORS and act as PARACRINE PROTEIN FACTORS to initiate a variety of SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS. The canonical Wnt signaling pathway stabilizes the transcriptional coactivator BETA CATENIN.
The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.
The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo.
Animals, Genetically Modified
A tube of ectodermal tissue in an embryo that will give rise to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, including the SPINAL CORD and the BRAIN. Lumen within the neural tube is called neural canal which gives rise to the central canal of the spinal cord and the ventricles of the brain. For malformation of the neural tube, see NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS.
The two longitudinal ridges along the PRIMITIVE STREAK appearing near the end of GASTRULATION during development of nervous system (NEURULATION). The ridges are formed by folding of NEURAL PLATE. Between the ridges is a neural groove which deepens as the fold become elevated. When the folds meet at midline, the groove becomes a closed tube, the NEURAL TUBE.
Genes that encode highly conserved TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS that control positional identity of cells (BODY PATTERNING) and MORPHOGENESIS throughout development. Their sequences contain a 180 nucleotide sequence designated the homeobox, so called because mutations of these genes often results in homeotic transformations, in which one body structure replaces another. The proteins encoded by homeobox genes are called HOMEODOMAIN PROTEINS.
Central Nervous System
The developmental history of specific differentiated cell types as traced back to the original STEM CELLS in the embryo.
Accumulation of a drug or chemical substance in various organs (including those not relevant to its pharmacologic or therapeutic action). This distribution depends on the blood flow or perfusion rate of the organ, the ability of the drug to penetrate organ membranes, tissue specificity, protein binding. The distribution is usually expressed as tissue to plasma ratios.
Gene Expression Profiling
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
Bone-growth regulatory factors that are members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily of proteins. They are synthesized as large precursor molecules which are cleaved by proteolytic enzymes. The active form can consist of a dimer of two identical proteins or a heterodimer of two related bone morphogenetic proteins.
An individual in which both alleles at a given locus are identical.
Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.
Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE). Inside the intact ZONA PELLUCIDA, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.
A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).
Proteins found in the nucleus of a cell. Do not confuse with NUCLEOPROTEINS which are proteins conjugated with nucleic acids, that are not necessarily present in the nucleus.
Nuclear Transfer Techniques
Methods of implanting a CELL NUCLEUS from a donor cell into an enucleated acceptor cell.
Neural Tube Defects
Congenital malformations of the central nervous system and adjacent structures related to defective neural tube closure during the first trimester of pregnancy generally occurring between days 18-29 of gestation. Ectodermal and mesodermal malformations (mainly involving the skull and vertebrae) may occur as a result of defects of neural tube closure. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch55, pp31-41)
An individual having different alleles at one or more loci regarding a specific character.
One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.
The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.
A multi-functional catenin that participates in CELL ADHESION and nuclear signaling. Beta catenin binds CADHERINS and helps link their cytoplasmic tails to the ACTIN in the CYTOSKELETON via ALPHA CATENIN. It also serves as a transcriptional co-activator and downstream component of WNT PROTEIN-mediated SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION PATHWAYS.
The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.
Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.
In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques
All of the processes involved in increasing CELL NUMBER including CELL DIVISION.
Gene Expression Regulation
The gamete-producing glands, OVARY or TESTIS.
Mice, Inbred Strains
Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.
Cleavage Stage, Ovum
The earliest developmental stage of a fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) during which there are several mitotic divisions within the ZONA PELLUCIDA. Each cleavage or segmentation yields two BLASTOMERES of about half size of the parent cell. This cleavage stage generally covers the period up to 16-cell MORULA.
Promoter Regions, Genetic
DNA sequences which are recognized (directly or indirectly) and bound by a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the initiation of transcription. Highly conserved sequences within the promoter include the Pribnow box in bacteria and the TATA BOX in eukaryotes.
The complex processes of initiating CELL DIFFERENTIATION in the embryo. The precise regulation by cell interactions leads to diversity of cell types and specific pattern of organization (EMBRYOGENESIS).
Detection of RNA that has been electrophoretically separated and immobilized by blotting on nitrocellulose or other type of paper or nylon membrane followed by hybridization with labeled NUCLEIC ACID PROBES.
Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)
Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.
Methods of maintaining or growing biological materials in controlled laboratory conditions. These include the cultures of CELLS; TISSUES; organs; or embryo in vitro. Both animal and plant tissues may be cultured by a variety of methods. Cultures may derive from normal or abnormal tissues, and consist of a single cell type or mixed cell types.
An important regulator of GENE EXPRESSION during growth and development, and in NEOPLASMS. Tretinoin, also known as retinoic acid and derived from maternal VITAMIN A, is essential for normal GROWTH; and EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT. An excess of tretinoin can be teratogenic. It is used in the treatment of PSORIASIS; ACNE VULGARIS; and several other SKIN DISEASES. It has also been approved for use in promyelocytic leukemia (LEUKEMIA, PROMYELOCYTIC, ACUTE).
Genes whose expression is easily detectable and therefore used to study promoter activity at many positions in a target genome. In recombinant DNA technology, these genes may be attached to a promoter region of interest.
A cartilaginous rod of mesodermal cells at the dorsal midline of all CHORDATE embryos. In lower vertebrates, notochord is the backbone of support. In the higher vertebrates, notochord is a transient structure, and segments of the vertebral column will develop around it. Notochord is also a source of midline signals that pattern surrounding tissues including the NEURAL TUBE development.
The fission of a CELL. It includes CYTOKINESIS, when the CYTOPLASM of a cell is divided, and CELL NUCLEUS DIVISION.
Wnt Signaling Pathway
A complex signaling pathway whose name is derived from the DROSOPHILA Wg gene, which when mutated results in the wingless phenotype, and the vertebrate INT gene, which is located near integration sites of MOUSE MAMMARY TUMOR VIRUS. The signaling pathway is initiated by the binding of WNT PROTEINS to cells surface WNT RECEPTORS which interact with the AXIN SIGNALING COMPLEX and an array of second messengers that influence the actions of BETA CATENIN.
The process in which substances, either endogenous or exogenous, bind to proteins, peptides, enzymes, protein precursors, or allied compounds. Specific protein-binding measures are often used as assays in diagnostic assessments.
The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.
Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic
Octamer Transcription Factor-3
The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.
A region, of SOMITE development period, that contains a number of paired arches, each with a mesodermal core lined by ectoderm and endoderm on the two sides. In lower aquatic vertebrates, branchial arches develop into GILLS. In higher vertebrates, the arches forms outpouchings and develop into structures of the head and neck. Separating the arches are the branchial clefts or grooves.
Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
A family of DNA-binding transcription factors that contain a basic HELIX-LOOP-HELIX MOTIF.
The posterior of the three primitive cerebral vesicles of an embryonic brain. It consists of myelencephalon, metencephalon, and isthmus rhombencephali from which develop the major BRAIN STEM components, such as MEDULLA OBLONGATA from the myelencephalon, CEREBELLUM and PONS from the metencephalon, with the expanded cavity forming the FOURTH VENTRICLE.
Fibroblast Growth Factors
A family of small polypeptide growth factors that share several common features including a strong affinity for HEPARIN, and a central barrel-shaped core region of 140 amino acids that is highly homologous between family members. Although originally studied as proteins that stimulate the growth of fibroblasts this distinction is no longer a requirement for membership in the fibroblast growth factor family.
T-Box Domain Proteins
Proteins containing a region of conserved sequence, about 200 amino acids long, which encodes a particular sequence specific DNA binding domain (the T-box domain). These proteins are transcription factors that control developmental pathways. The prototype of this family is the mouse Brachyury (or T) gene product.
A family of conserved cell surface receptors that contain EPIDERMAL GROWTH FACTOR repeats in their extracellular domain and ANKYRIN repeats in their cytoplasmic domains. The cytoplasmic domain of notch receptors is released upon ligand binding and translocates to the CELL NUCLEUS where it acts as transcription factor.
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.
A layer of cells lining the fluid-filled cavity (blastocele) of a BLASTULA, usually developed from a fertilized insect, reptilian, or avian egg.
Transforming Growth Factor beta
A factor synthesized in a wide variety of tissues. It acts synergistically with TGF-alpha in inducing phenotypic transformation and can also act as a negative autocrine growth factor. TGF-beta has a potential role in embryonal development, cellular differentiation, hormone secretion, and immune function. TGF-beta is found mostly as homodimer forms of separate gene products TGF-beta1, TGF-beta2 or TGF-beta3. Heterodimers composed of TGF-beta1 and 2 (TGF-beta1.2) or of TGF-beta2 and 3 (TGF-beta2.3) have been isolated. The TGF-beta proteins are synthesized as precursor proteins.
Somewhat flattened, globular echinoderms, having thin, brittle shells of calcareous plates. They are useful models for studying FERTILIZATION and EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT.
Gene Knockdown Techniques
Calcium-dependent cell adhesion proteins. They are important in the formation of ADHERENS JUNCTIONS between cells. Cadherins are classified by their distinct immunological and tissue specificities, either by letters (E- for epithelial, N- for neural, and P- for placental cadherins) or by numbers (cadherin-12 or N-cadherin 2 for brain-cadherin). Cadherins promote cell adhesion via a homophilic mechanism as in the construction of tissues and of the whole animal body.
The potential of the FETUS to survive outside the UTERUS after birth, natural or induced. Fetal viability depends largely on the FETAL ORGAN MATURITY, and environmental conditions.
A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)
A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).
A gene silencing phenomenon whereby specific dsRNAs (RNA, DOUBLE-STRANDED) trigger the degradation of homologous mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER). The specific dsRNAs are processed into SMALL INTERFERING RNA (siRNA) which serves as a guide for cleavage of the homologous mRNA in the RNA-INDUCED SILENCING COMPLEX. DNA METHYLATION may also be triggered during this process.
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
The complex series of phenomena, occurring between the end of one CELL DIVISION and the end of the next, by which cellular material is duplicated and then divided between two daughter cells. The cell cycle includes INTERPHASE, which includes G0 PHASE; G1 PHASE; S PHASE; and G2 PHASE, and CELL DIVISION PHASE.
Cells lining the outside of the BLASTOCYST. After binding to the ENDOMETRIUM, trophoblasts develop into two distinct layers, an inner layer of mononuclear cytotrophoblasts and an outer layer of continuous multinuclear cytoplasm, the syncytiotrophoblasts, which form the early fetal-maternal interface (PLACENTA).
A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.
Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
A bone morphogenetic protein that is a potent inducer of bone formation. It also functions as a regulator of MESODERM formation during EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT.
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.
Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
Regulatory proteins and peptides that are signaling molecules involved in the process of PARACRINE COMMUNICATION. They are generally considered factors that are expressed by one cell and are responded to by receptors on another nearby cell. They are distinguished from HORMONES in that their actions are local rather than distal.
Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.