Conditional Aurora A deficiency differentially affects early mouse embryo patterning

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases; Body Patterning; Embryo, Mammalian; Mice


Cell and Developmental Biology | Cell Biology | Developmental Biology


Aurora A is a mitotic kinase essential for cell proliferation. In mice, ablation of Aurora A results in mitotic arrest and pre-implantation lethality, preventing studies at later stages of development. Here we report the effects of Aurora A ablation on embryo patterning at early post-implantation stages. Inactivation of Aurora A in the epiblast or visceral endoderm layers of the conceptus leads to apoptosis and inhibition of embryo growth, causing lethality and resorption at approximately E9.5. The effects on embryo patterning, however, depend on the tissue affected by the mutation. Embryos with an epiblast ablation of Aurora A properly establish the anteroposterior axis but fail to progress through gastrulation. In contrast, mutation of Aurora A in the visceral endoderm, leads to posteriorization of the conceptus or failure to elongate the anteroposterior axis. Injection of ES cells into Aurora A epiblast knockout blastocysts reconstitutes embryonic development to E9.5, indicating that the extra-embryonic tissues in these mutant embryos can sustain development to organogenesis stages. Our results reveal new ways to induce apoptosis and to ablate cells in a tissue-specific manner in vivo. Moreover, they show that epiblast-ablated embryos can be used to test the potency of stem cells.

DOI of Published Version



Yoon Y, Cowley DO, Gallant J, Jones SN, Van Dyke T, Rivera-Pérez JA. Conditional Aurora A deficiency differentially affects early mouse embryo patterning. Dev Biol. 2012 Nov 1;371(1):77-85. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.08.010. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Developmental biology


Co-author Yeonsoo Yoon is a student in the Cell Biology Program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at UMass Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID