Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University


Imaging How Cells Choose their Fate, Shape and Position in the Mammalian Embryo
Nicolas Plachta (A*STAR)


May 13, 2019 (Mon), 16:00-17:00


2F Seminar Room, BioSystems Building


Nicolas Plachta (A*STAR)


Imaging How Cells Choose their Fate, Shape and Position in the Mammalian Embryo


Preimplantation development has typically been studied using fixed specimens. To reveal the real-time dynamics that form the embryo, we established advanced imaging technologies, to visualize cell behaviors and molecular events in real time within the mouse embryo. With this approach, we discovered how transcription factors bind to DNA in single cells to regulate the first cell differentiation during development. We also found new forms of actin and microtubule organization that control how the cells of the embryo become polarized during compaction, how they interact with each other to establish the first forms of tissue architecture, and how they specify the pluripotent and trophectoderm lineages. Together, our findings reveal new mechanisms controlling how the mammalian embryo forms and grows.


  1. Expanding Actin Rings Zipper the Mouse Embryo for Blastocyst Formation.
    Zenker J, White MD, Gasnier M, Alvarez YD, Lim HYG, Bissiere S, Biro M, Plachta N.
    Cell. 2018 Apr 19;173(3):776-791
  2. A microtubule-organizing center directing intracellular transport in the early mouse embryo.
    Zenker J, White MD, Templin RM, Parton RG, Thorn-Seshold O, Bissiere S, Plachta N.
    Science. 2017 Sep 1;357(6354):925-928
  3. Long-Lived Binding of Sox2 to DNA Predicts Cell Fate in the Four-Cell Mouse Embryo.
    White MD, Angiolini JF, Alvarez YD, Kaur G, Zhao ZW, Mocskos E, Bruno L, Bissiere S, Levi V, Plachta N.
    Cell. 2016 Mar 24;165(1):75-87
  4. Cortical Tension Allocates the First Inner Cells of the Mammalian Embryo.
    Samarage CR, White MD, Álvarez YD, Fierro-González JC, Henon Y, Jesudason EC, Bissiere S, Fouras A, Plachta N.
    Dev Cell. 2015 Aug 24;34(4):435-47
  5. Cadherin-dependent filopodia control preimplantation embryo compaction.
    Fierro-González JC, White MD, Silva JC, Plachta N.
    Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Dec;15(12):1424-33


Hiroshi Sasaki
E-mail: sasaki[at]