Mouse embryos that express the protein product of the preimplantation embryo development (Ped) gene, Qa-2, on their surface have been shown to cleave at a faster rate than Qa-2 negative embryos. Qa-2 positive embryos exhibit improved vitality throughout their development compared to Qa-2 negative embryos. In addition, offspring resulting from Qa-2 positive embryos are healthier as adults than offspring from Qa-2 negative embryos. The importance of Qa-2 protein in mediating embryo cleavage rate, embryo survival, and adult health has motivated us to develop methods to begin to understand the molecular mechanisms mediating Qa-2 action. As a first step, we have examined the location of Qa-2 protein on the embryo cell surface. Although it has been possible to detect membrane-bound Qa-2 molecules on preimplantation embryos using indirect methods, their low abundance on embryos has made previous direct visualization attempts unsuccessful. This poster presents the first successful use of new immunofluorescence reagents to visualize Qa-2 on mouse preimplantation embryos. We also have shown that Qa-2 protein is located in lipid rafts on the embryo cell surface. This finding suggests that Qa-2 acts as a signaling molecule in regulating the rate of preimplantation embryo cleavage divisions.


Poster presented at the 2007 Validating TestBED and Research on Real World Problems for the I-PLUS Development Conference.


embryos, Qa-2, Ped gene

Subject Categories

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology


Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS)

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Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS)

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