Maternally derived FILIA-MATER complex localizes asymmetrically in cleavage-stage mouse embryos

Development. 2008 Jan;135(2):259-69. doi: 10.1242/dev.011445. Epub 2007 Dec 5.


Initial cell lineages that presage the inner cell mass and extra-embryonic trophectoderm are established when eight blastomeres compact to form polarized morulae in preimplantation mouse development. FILIA has been identified as a binding partner to MATER (maternal antigen that embryos require; also known as NLRP5), which is encoded by a maternal effect gene. Products of each gene are detected in growing oocytes and, although transcripts are degraded before fertilization, the cognate proteins persist in early blastocysts. The two proteins co-localize to the cytocortex of ovulated eggs, where the stability of FILIA is dependent on the presence of MATER. After fertilization, FILIA-MATER complexes become asymmetrically restricted in the apical cytocortex of two-cell embryos due to their absence in regions of cell-cell contact. This asymmetry is reversible upon disaggregation of blastomeres of the two- and four-cell embryo. Each protein persists in cells of the preimplantation embryo, but the continuous cell-cell contact of ;inner' cells of the morulae seemingly precludes formation of the subcortical FILIA-MATER complex and results in cell populations that are marked by its presence (;outer') or absence (;inner'). Thus, the FILIA-MATER complex provides a molecular marker of embryonic cell lineages, but it remains to be determined if the molecular asymmetry established after the first cell division plays a role in cell fate determinations in the early mouse embryo. If so, the plasticity of the FILIA-MATER complex localization may reflect the regulative nature of preimplantation mouse development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens / chemistry
  • Antigens / genetics
  • Antigens / metabolism*
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Blastocyst / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / cytology
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / metabolism*
  • Egg Proteins / chemistry
  • Egg Proteins / genetics
  • Egg Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism*
  • Embryonic Development
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Antigens
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Egg Proteins
  • Nalp5 protein, mouse
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Messenger