Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) differs from the surrounding visceral endoderm (VE) in its migratory behavior and ability to restrict primitive streak formation to the opposite side of the mouse embryo. To characterize the molecular bases for the unique properties of the AVE, we combined single-cell RNA sequencing of the VE prior to and during AVE migration with phosphoproteomics, high-resolution live-imaging, and short-term lineage labeling and intervention. This identified the transient nature of the AVE with attenuation of "anteriorizing" gene expression as cells migrate and the emergence of heterogeneities in transcriptional states relative to the AVE's position. Using cell communication analysis, we identified the requirement of semaphorin signaling for normal AVE migration. Lattice light-sheet microscopy showed that Sema6D mutants have abnormalities in basal projections and migration speed. These findings point to a tight coupling between transcriptional state and position of the AVE and identify molecular controllers of AVE migration.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev Cell

Publication Date



anterior visceral endoderm, cell migration, embryonic patterning, mouse embryogenesis, phosphoproteomics, semaphorin signaling, single-cell transcriptomics