Purpose: To understand cell cycle controls in the 8-Cell human blastomere.
Methods: Data from whole human genome (43,377 elements) microarray analyses of RNAs from normal 8-Cell human embryos were compiled with published microarrays of RNAs from human fibroblasts, before and after induced pluripotency, and embryonic stem cells. A sub database of 3,803 genes identified by high throughput RNA knock-down studies, plus genes that oscillate in human cells, was analyzed.
Results: Thirty-five genes over-detected at least 7-fold specifically on the 8-Cell arrays were enriched for cell cycle drivers and for proteins that stabilize chromosome cohesion and spindle attachment and limit DNA and centrosome replication to once per cycle.
Conclusions: These results indicate that 8-cell human blastomere cleavage is guided by cyclic over-expression of key proteins, rather than canonical checkpoints, leading to rapidly increasing gene copy number and a susceptibility to chromosome and cytokinesis mishaps, well-noted characteristics of preimplantation human embryos.