Overexpression of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC) in Xeno-pus embryos activates maternal program of apoptosis as a "fail-safe" mechanism of early embryogenesis

Masatake Kai, Chikara Kaito, Hiroshi Fukamachi, Takayasu Higo, Eiji Ta-Kayama, Hiroshi Hara, Yoshikazu Ohya, Kazuei Igarashi, Koichiro Shiokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Xenopus, injection of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC) mRNA into fertilized eggs or 2-cell stage embryos induces massive cell dissociation and embryo-lysis at the early gastrula stage due to activation of the maternal program of apoptosis. We injected SAMDC mRNA into only one of the animal side blastomeres of embryos at different stages of cleavage, and examined the timing of the onset of the apoptotic reaction. In the injection at 4- and 8-cell stages, a considerable number of embryos developed into tadpoles and in the injection at 16- and 32-cell stages, all the embryos became tadpoles, although tadpoles obtained were sometimes abnormal. However, using GFP as a lineage tracer, we found that descendant cells of the blastomere injected with SAMDC mRNA at 8- to 32-cell stages are confined within the blastocoel at the early gastrula stage and undergo apoptotic cell death within the blastocoel, in spite of the continued development of the injected embryos. These results indicate that cells overexpressed with SAMDC undergo apoptotic cell death consistently at the early gastrula stage, irrespective of the timing of the mRNA injection. We assume that apoptosis is executed in Xenopus early gastrulae as a "fail-safe" mechanism to eliminate physiologically-severely damaged cells to save the rest of the embryo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-158
Number of pages12
JournalCell Research
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fail-safe mechanism
  • MBT
  • Maternal apoptosis program
  • Processing-defective SAMDC mutant
  • SAMDC overexpression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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