Research Papers:

Exploring timing activation of functional pathway based on differential co-expression analysis in preimplantation embryogenesis

Yongchun Zuo _, Guanghua Su, Shanshan Wang, Lei Yang, Mingzhi Liao, Zhuying Wei, Chunling Bai and Guangpeng Li

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:74120-74131. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12339

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Yongchun Zuo1,*, Guanghua Su1,*, Shanshan Wang2, Lei Yang3, Mingzhi Liao4, Zhuying Wei1, Chunling Bai1, Guangpeng Li1

1The Key Laboratory of Mammalian Reproductive Biology and Biotechnology of the Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China

2College of Computer Science, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China

3College of Bioinformatics Science and Technology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China

4College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shanxi 712100, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yongchun Zuo, email: [email protected] (YCZ)

Guangpeng Li, email: [email protected] (GPL)

Keywords: gene co-expression analysis, embryo early development, dynamics activation, KEGG functional pathway

Received: March 31, 2016    Accepted: September 17, 2016    Published: September 29, 2016


Recent genome-wide omics studies have confirmed the early embryogenesis strictly dependent on the rigorous spatiotemporal activation and multilevel regulation. However, the full effect of functional pathway was not considered. To obtain complete understanding of the gene activation during early development, we performed systematic comparisons based on differential co-expression analysis for bovine preimplantation embryo development (PED). The results confirmed that the functional pathways actively transcribes as early as the 2-cell and 4-cell waves, which Basal transcription factor, Endocytosis and Spliceosome pathway can represent first signs of embryonic activity. Endocytosis act as one of master activators for uncovering a series of successive waves of maternal pioneer signal regulator with the help of Spliceosome complex. Furthermore, the results showed that pattern recognition receptors began to perform its essential function at 4-cell stage, which might be needed to coordinate the later major activation. And finally, our work presented a probable dynamic landscape of key functional pathways for embryogenesis. A clearer understanding of early embryo development will be helpful for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Regenerative Medicine (RM).

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