My major interest is how early cell fate decisions are made in the mammalian embryo, in particular the mechanism underlying first cell lineages (trophectoderm and ICM) generation. Currently I focus my attention on the role of transcription factor Cdx2. It has been recently discovered that both Cdx2 mRNA and protein is being expressed from the eight-cell stage and that the pattern of its expression is heterogeneous. My research has showed that this heterogeneity have developmental consequences. Moreover, there is mutually reinforcing relationship between cellular polarity (aPKC) and Cdx2, which ensure the generation of a stable outer epithelium by the blastocyst stage.
Funding: Wellcome Trust
Jedrusik A, Parfitt DE, Guo G, Skamagki M, Grabarek JB, Johnson MH, Robson P, Zernicka-Goetz M. Role of Cdx2 and cell polarity in cell allocation and specification of trophectoderm and inner cell mass in the mouse embryo. Genes Dev. 2008 Oct 1; 22(19):2692-2706.
Jedrusik A, Ajduk A, Pomorski P, Maleszewski M. Mouse oocytes fertilised by ICSI during in vitro maturation retain the ability to be activated after refertilisation in metaphase II and can generate Ca2+ oscillations. BMC Dev Biol. 2007 Jun 20; 7:72.
Plusa B, Hadjantonakis AK, Gray D, Piotrowska-Nitsche K, Jedrusik A, Papaioannou VE, Glover DM, Zernicka-Goetz M. The first cleavage of the mouse zygote predicts the blastocyst axis. Nature. 2005 Mar 17; 434(7031):391-395.