We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Transcription Roadblock Limits Entry of Epiblast Cells to the Germline
News

Elucidating Early Events of Germ Cell Development

Transcription Roadblock Limits Entry of Epiblast Cells to the Germline
News

Elucidating Early Events of Germ Cell Development

Scanning electron micrograph of a 6 day old human embryo beginning to implant into the lining of the uterus (endometrium). As implantation progresses, the inner cell mass begins to form into the bilaminar disc. The two layers are called the epiblast and the hypoblast. An embryo that has been in culture for up to 14 days will remain at this stage of development. Such cultured embryos remain alive but do not progress as they would in the womb. Credit: Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images, Cell Image Library.
Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Transcription Roadblock Limits Entry of Epiblast Cells to the Germline"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Key insights into how sperm and egg cells are formed have been discovered by scientists, shedding light on the earliest stages of their development.

The research shows for the first time how molecules influence the fate of the cells that define the DNA profile of future generations, experts say.

The findings focus on the development of germ cells - which give rise to sperm and eggs. During reproduction, these germ cells join with one from the opposite sex to form a new individual.

Research led by the University of Edinburgh carried out studies with mice to investigate the first stages of germ cell formation.

They focused on a molecule known as BMP4 and found that it blocks the activity of Otx2, a gene regulator that directs the development of non-germ cells, known as somatic cells.

The scientists showed that reducing Otx2 activity by BMP4 is crucial to the development of germ cells.

The study is published in Nature and was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Professor Ian Chambers from the University of Edinburgh's MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, who led the study, said: "Until now, studies of germ cell identity have focused on activity much later down the chain of events.

"We can now begin to see the early events occurring as cells commit to germ cell development. These exciting findings open the door towards a better understanding of the processes governing the very earliest stages in the separation of germ cells from all other cells."

This article has been republished from materials provided by The University of Edinburgh. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference:

Zhang, J., Zhang, M., Acampora, D., Vojtek, M., Yuan, D., Simeone, A., & Chambers, I. (2018). OTX2 restricts entry to the mouse germline. Nature. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0581-5

Advertisement