Maternal and embryonic provenance of a sea urchin embryo transcription factor, SpZ12-1

Mol Mar Biol Biotechnol. 1995 Jun;4(2):148-53.


SpZ12-1 is a zinc-finger transcription factor. Previous work has indicated that this factor functions late in embryogenesis as a spatial transcriptional repressor. We show here that this factor is present in significant quantities even in unfertilized egg cytoplasm, and in similar quantities in mesenchyme blastula-stage embryo cytoplasm. Taken together with earlier measurements of Calzone and associates, our observations indicate that SpZ12-1 enters the embryonic nuclei between late cleavage and mesenchyme blastula stages. A low-prevalence mRNA encoding SpZ12-1 is also present throughout development. Translation of this mRNA could, however, easily account for the complete complement of SpZ12-1 protein in the embryo, as estimated from its DNA binding activity. SpZ12-1 probably functions at several developmental stages and is evidently of both maternal and embryonic provenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / chemistry
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Cytoplasm / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Ovum / chemistry
  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Sea Urchins / embryology*
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / analysis*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors