Expression and cell membrane localization of catenins during mouse preimplantation development

Dev Dyn. 1996 Aug;206(4):391-402. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(199608)206:4<391::AID-AJA5>3.0.CO;2-D.


We have studied transcription, expression, and membrane localization of components of the E-cadherin-catenin complex stage by stage during mouse preimplantation development. Maternal E-cadherin and alpha- and beta-catenin are stored as mRNA and/or protein in unfertilized eggs and are already assembled into a protein complex at this stage. After fertilization, it is likely that they mediate adhesion of early-stage blastomeres. Biosynthesis of plakoglobin is delayed relative to the other components. The temporal mRNA and protein expression patterns of the components of the cadherin-catenin complex correlate with the presence or absence of potential cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements (CPEs) in the 3'-UTRs of the respective cDNAs. Our results suggest that the components of the E-cadherin-catenin complex derived from both maternal and zygotic gene activity are increasingly accumulated and stored in a nonfunctional form during early cleavage stages and are ready to be used for compaction and the formation of the trophectodermal cell layer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / metabolism*
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Mice
  • Trans-Activators*
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, mouse
  • Cadherins
  • Ctnna1 protein, mouse
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin