Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 313 - 319 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103240lv
© UPV/EHU Press

Co-localization of neural cell adhesion molecule and fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 in early embryo development

Liselotte Vesterlund*,1, Virpi Töhönen1, Outi Hovatta2 and Juha Kere1,3,4

1Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden, 2Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden, 3Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, Helsinki, Finland and 4Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Finland.

ABSTRACT During development there is a multitude of signaling events governing the assembly of the developing organism. Receptors for signaling molecules such as fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) enable the embryo to communicate with the surrounding environment and activate downstream pathways. The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) was first characterized as a cell adhesion molecule highly expressed in the nervous system, but recent studies have shown that it is also a signaling receptor. Using a novel single oocyte adaptation of the proximity ligation assay, we here show a close association between NCAM and FGFR2 in mouse oocytes and 2-cell embryos. Real-time PCR analyses revealed the presence of messenger RNA encoding key proteins in downstream signaling pathways in oocytes and early mouse embryos. In summary these findings show a co-localization of NCAM and FGFR2 in early vertebrate development with intracellular signaling pathways present to enable a cellular response.

Keywords:

NCAM, FGFR2, mouse, PLA, development

*Corresponding author e-mail: liselotte.vesterlund@ki.se