Pten facilitates epiblast epithelial polarization and proamniotic lumen formation in early mouse embryos

Yue Meng, Kathy Q. Cai, Robert Moore, Wensi Tao, Jeffrey D. Tse, Elizabeth R. Smith, Xiang Xi Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10 (Pten), a lipid phosphatase originally identified as a tumor-suppressor gene, regulates the phosphoinositol 3 kinase signaling pathway and impacts cell death and proliferation. Pten mutant embryos die at early stages of development, although the particular developmental deficiency and the mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Results: We analyzed Pten mutant embryos in detail and found that the formation of the proamniotic cavity is impaired. Embryoid bodies derived from Pten-null embryonic stem cells failed to undergo cavitation, reproducing the embryonic phenotype in vitro. Analysis of embryoid bodies and embryos revealed a role of Pten in the initiation of the focal point of the epithelial rosette that develops into the proamniotic lumen, and in establishment of epithelial polarity to transform the amorphous epiblast cells into a polarized epithelium. Conclusions: We conclude that Pten is required for proamniotic cavity formation by establishing polarity for epiblast cells to form a rosette that expands into the proamniotic lumen, rather than facilitating apoptosis to create the cavity. Developmental Dynamics 246:517–530, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-530
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Pten
  • apoptosis
  • cavitation
  • endoderm
  • epiblast
  • epithelial polarity
  • knockout mouse embryos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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