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The phylogenetically distinct early human embryo

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Item Type:Preprint
Title:The phylogenetically distinct early human embryo
Creators Name:Singh, M., Widmann, T.J., Cortes, J.L., Schumann, G.G., Wunderlich, S., Martin, U., Garcia-Perez, J.L., Hurst, L.D. and Izsvak, Z.
Abstract:The phylogenetic singularity of the human embryo remains unresolved as cell types of the human blastocyst have resisted classification. Combining clustering of single cellular transcriptomes and dynamically expressed genes we resolve the cell types. This unveils the missing inner cell mass (ICM) and reveals classical step-wise development. Conversely, numerous features render our blastocyst phylogenetically distinct: unlike mice, our epiblast is self-renewing and we have blastocyst non-committed cells (NCCs), part of an apoptosis-mediated quality control/purging process. At the transcriptome-level all primate embryos are distinct as the pluripotent cell types are uniquely fast evolving. A substantial fraction of gene expression gain and loss events between human and new-world monkeys involve endogenous retrovirus H (ERVH). Human pluripotent cells are unique in which (H)ERVH's are active, the extent to which these modulate neighbour gene expression and their ability to suppress mutagenic transposable elements. Current naive cultures are heterogeneous and both developmentally and phylogenetically "confused".
Publisher:Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Article Number:318329
Date:18 May 2018
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1101/318329

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