Early mouse embryos have an atypical translational machinery that consists of cytoplasmic lattices and is poorly competent for translation. Hence, the impact of transcriptomic changes on the operational level of proteins is predicted to be relatively modest. To investigate this, we performed liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and mRNA sequencing at seven developmental stages, from the mature oocyte to the blastocyst, and independently validated our data by immunofluorescence and qPCR. We detected and quantified 6,550 proteins and 20,535 protein-coding transcripts. In contrast to the transcriptome - where changes occur early, mostly at the 2-cell stage - our data indicate that the most substantial changes in the proteome take place towards later stages, between the morula and blastocyst. We also found little to no concordance between the changes in protein and transcript levels, especially for early stages, but observed that the concordance increased towards the morula and blastocyst, as did the number of free ribosomes. These results are consistent with the cytoplasmic lattice-to-free ribosome transition being a key mediator of developmental regulation. Finally, we show how these data can be used to appraise the strengths and limitations of mRNA-based studies of pre-implantation development and expand on the list of known developmental markers.
Fields of Expertise
- Human- & Biotechnology