Involvement of EAT/mcl-1, an anti-apoptotic bcl-2-related gene, in murine embryogenesis and human development

Makoto Sano, Akihiro Umezawa, Atsushi Suzuki, Kouji Shimoda, Mariko Fukuma, Jun ichi Hata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Apoptosis plays an important regulatory role in mammalian embryogenesis and development. EAT/mcl-1 (EAT), an anti-apoptotic bcl-2-related gene, was isolated during the early differentiation of a human embryonal carcinoma cell line, an event which serves as a model of early embryogenesis. EAT is involved in apoptotic regulation and is believed to also function as an immediate-early gene. Thus it was hypothesized that EAT would be expressed during early embryogenesis and would be involved in the regulation of apoptosis during this critical period. To clarify this early expression, two antibodies to EAT were generated by use of immunizing oligopeptide (aa 37-55) and recombinant protein (aa 31-229) for use in immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting, respectively. With these antibodies, we then determined EAT expression during murine embryogenesis and in human development, using human fetal tissue of 6 to 23 gestational weeks. During murine embryogenesis, the EAT protein was found to be rapidly induced after fertilization, to peak at the 2-cell stage, to remain constant until the 8-cell stage, and then to decrease to below unfertilized egg levels in blastocysts. EAT expression patterns in early human development were found to essentially overlap those observed in adult tissues which suggest that EAT expression continues until adulthood in terminally differentiated tissues. Among tissues distinct to fetal development, EAT was detected in the mesonephric (Wolffian) duct and paramesonephric (Mullerian) duct. It is also noteworthy that prominent EAT immunoreactivity was also observed in large primary oocytes in 21-week fetal ovary, but was not detected in primordial germ cells in 23-week fetal testis. In summary, EAT expression was detected in hematopoietic, epithelial, neural, endocrine, and urogenital cells; this provides evidence that EAT, as an anti-apoptotic molecule, possibly functions to regulate apoptosis during development in these systems. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug 25
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • EAT/mcl-1
  • Fertilization
  • Human fetus
  • Immediate-early gene
  • Murine embryogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Involvement of EAT/mcl-1, an anti-apoptotic bcl-2-related gene, in murine embryogenesis and human development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this