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Development 2001 Jul 01;12813:2615-27. doi: 10.1242/dev.128.13.2615.
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A large-scale analysis of mRNAs expressed by primary mesenchyme cells of the sea urchin embryo.

Zhu X , Mahairas G , Illies M , Cameron RA , Davidson EH , Ettensohn CA .

The primary mesenchyme cells (PMCs) of the sea urchin embryo have been an important model system for the analysis of cell behavior during gastrulation. To gain an improved understanding of the molecular basis of PMC behavior, a set of 8293 expressed sequenced tags (ESTs) was derived from an enriched population of mid-gastrula stage PMCs. These ESTs represented approximately 1200 distinct proteins, or about 15% of the mRNAs expressed by the gastrula stage embryo. 655 proteins were similar (P<10(-7) by BLAST comparisons) to other proteins in GenBank, for which some information is available concerning expression and/or function. Another 116 were similar to ESTs identified in other organisms, but not further characterized. We conservatively estimate that sequences encoding at least 435 additional proteins were included in the pool of ESTs that did not yield matches by BLAST analysis. The collection of newly identified proteins includes many candidate regulators of primary mesenchyme morphogenesis, including PMC-specific extracellular matrix proteins, cell surface proteins, spicule matrix proteins and transcription factors. This work provides a basis for linking specific molecular changes to specific cell behaviors during gastrulation. Our analysis has also led to the cloning of several key components of signaling pathways that play crucial roles in early sea urchin development.

PubMed ID: 11493577
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC115925415 LOC583082