Molecular control of the oocyte to embryo transition.

Document Type


Publication Date



Comparative-Study, Embryonic-and-Fetal-Development, Genomic-Library, Mice, Oocytes, Retroelements, Signal-Transduction, Transcription-Genetic

JAX Source

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2003 Aug; 358(1436):1381-7.


The elucidation of the molecular control of the initiation of mammalian embryogenesis is possible now that the transcriptomes of the full-grown oocyte and two-cell stage embryo have been prepared and analysed. Functional annotation of the transcriptomes using gene ontology vocabularies, allows comparison of the oocyte and two-cell stage embryo between themselves, and with all known mouse genes in the Mouse Genome Database. Using this methodology one can outline the general distinguishing features of the oocyte and the two-cell stage embryo. This, when combined with oocyte-specific targeted deletion of genes, allows us to dissect the molecular networks at play as the differentiated oocyte and sperm transit into blastomeres with unlimited developmental potential.