Systems biology of the 2-cell mouse embryo.

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Cytogenet Genome Res 2004; 105(2-4):240-50.


The transcriptome of the 2-cell mouse embryo was analyzed to provide insight into the molecular networks at play during nuclear reprogramming and embryonic genome activation. Analysis of ESTs from a 2-cell cDNA library identified nearly 4,000 genes, over half of which have not been previously studied. Transcripts of mobile elements, especially those of LTR retrotransposons, are abundantly represented in 2-cell embryos, suggesting their possible role in introducing genomic variation, and epigenetic restructuring of the embryonic genome. Analysis of Gene Ontology of the 2-cell-stage expressed genes outlines the major biological processes that guide the oocyte-to-embryo transition. These results provide a foundation for understanding molecular control at the onset of mammalian development.