FAM is a developmentally regulated substrate-specific deubiquitylating enzyme. It binds the cell adhesion and signalling molecules β-catenin and AF-6 in vitro, and stabilises both in mammalian cell culture. To determine if FAM is required at the earliest stages of mouse development we examined its expression and function in preimplantation mouse embryos. FAM is expressed at all stages of preimplantation development from ovulation to implantation. Exposure of two-cell embryos to FAM-specific antisense, but not sense, oligodeoxynucleotides resulted in depletion of the FAM protein and failure of the embryos to develop to blastocysts. Loss of FAM had two physiological effects, namely, a decrease in cleavage rate and an inhibition of cell adhesive events. Depletion of FAM protein was mirrored by a loss of β-catenin such that very little of either protein remained following 72 h culture. The residual β-catenin was localised to sites of cell-cell contact suggesting that the cytoplasmic pool of β-catenin is stabilised by FAM. Although AF-6 levels initially decreased they returned to normal. However, the nascent protein was mislocalised at the apical surface of blastomeres. Therefore FAM is required for preimplantation mouse embryo development and regulates β-catenin and AF-6 in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology