The TATA binding protein in the sea urchin embryo is maternally derived

Lisa Edelmann, Lianxing Zheng, Zeng Feng Wang, William Marzluff, Gary M. Wessel, Geoffrey Childs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The cDNA encoding the TATA binding protein was isolated from 8- to 16- cell and morula-stage embryonic libraries of two distantly related species of sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus and Lytechinus variegatus, respectively. The two proteins are 96% identical over both the N- and C- terminal domains, suggesting a conservation of transcriptional processes between the two species. The prevalence of SpTBP transcripts at several developmental time points was determined using the tracer excess titration method, and the corresponding number of TBP protein molecules was determined by quantitative Western blot analysis. Our results indicate that the amount of TBP mRNA and protein per embryo remains relatively constant throughout development. An initial large pool of TBP protein (>109) molecules in the egg becomes diluted as a consequence of cell division and decreases to about 2 x 106 molecules per cell by the gastrula stage. We found by in situ RNA hybridization that the oocyte contains a large amount of TBP mRNA which is depleted late in oogenesis so that the eggs and early embryos have extremely low levels of TBP mRNA. We conclude that the oocyte manufactures nearly all of the TBP protein necessary for embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


  • Maternal supply
  • Sea urchin
  • TATA binding protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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