Importin α7 is essential for zygotic genome activation and early mouse development

Franziska Rother, Tatiana Shmidt, Elena Popova, Alexander Krivokharchenko, Stefanie Hügel, Larissa Vilianovich, Michael Ridders, Katja Tenner, Natalia Alenina, Matthias Köhler, Enno Hartmann, Michael Bader*

*Corresponding author for this work
20 Citations (Scopus)


Importin α is involved in the nuclear import of proteins. It also contributes to spindle assembly and nuclear membrane formation, however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we studied the function of importin α7 by gene targeting in mice and show that it is essential for early embryonic development. Embryos lacking importin α7 display a reduced ability for the first cleavage and arrest completely at the two-cell stage. We show that the zygotic genome activation is severely disturbed in these embryos. Our findings indicate that importin α7 is a new member of the small group of maternal effect genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18310
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 04.04.2011


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