Synthesis and Secretion of Stage-Specific Proteins By Peri-Implantation Mouse Embryos

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Blastocysts were recovered from intact mice at various times on the fourth and fifth days of pregnancy and incubated in vitro with 35S-methionine. Labeled proteins synthesized by the embryos and secreted into the medium were separated in two-dimensions on polyacrylamide gels by electrophoresis and localized by fluorography. The array of proteins synthesized and secreted by late stage blastocysts was found to be qualitatively and quantitatively different from those released by embryos at earlier stages of development. Similar changes were also observed in secreted proteins when delayed-implanting embryos were reactivated after an injection of estrogen. Furthermore, there was a temporal correlation between the appearance of certain proteins secreted by the embryos and changes in specific proteins synthesized and released by the uterus. It is suggested that these various secreted proteins constitute a signal-response mechanism that is important for the process of embryo implantation in mice.



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