Genome-wide microarray evidence that 8-cell human blastomeres over-express cell cycle drivers and under-express checkpoints

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2010 Jun;27(6):265-76. doi: 10.1007/s10815-010-9407-6. Epub 2010 Apr 1.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blastomeres / cytology*
  • Blastomeres / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Library
  • Genome, Human*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA Interference


  • Cell Cycle Proteins