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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 931564, 8 pages
Research Article

An Immunocytochemical Study of Interchromatin Granule Clusters in Early Mouse Embryos

Laboratory of Cell Morphology, Institute of Cytology RAS, 4 Tikhoretsky Avenue, Saint Petersburg 194064, Russia

Received 29 April 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Jose Antonio Belo

Copyright © 2013 Irina Bogolyubova and Dmitry Bogolyubov. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interchromatin granule clusters (IGCs) are universal nuclear domains. Their molecular composition and functions were studied in detail in somatic cells. Here, we studied IGCs in the nuclei of early mouse embryos during zygotic gene activation (ZGA). We found that the size of IGCs gradually increases during realization of ZGA events. Using immunocytochemical approaches, we showed that the molecular composition of IGCs is also modified in mouse embryos. The hyperphosphorylated form of RNA polymerase II and the transcription factor TFIID have been revealed in IGCs before the end of ZGA. Association of these factors with IGCs became more noticeable during ZGA realization. Our data suggest that IGCs in early mouse embryos have some functional peculiarities connected most probably with IGC formation de novo. We believe that IGCs in early mouse embryos not only are storage sites of splicing factors but also may be involved in mRNA metabolism and represent the multifunctional nuclear domains.