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Transcriptional Regulation during Mesoderm and Endoderm Induction
Mesendoderm is an embryonic tissue that both patterns the anterior-posterior neural axis and gives rise to organs such as the liver and pancreas. Our goal is to understand the mechanism by which sequence specific DNA binding proteins guide early embryo and embryonic stem cell differentiation into mesendoderm. We are particular interested in the developmentally important and relatively non-specific homeodomain transcription factors and the mechanism by which they can induce highly specific responses in both mesendoderm patterning and induction. We seek to understand the mechanism by which these proteins influence the output of specific signalling events to guide key cell fate decisions both in vivo and in vitro.
Expression of Krox20 in rhombomeres 3 and 5 in the Xenopus hindbrain. Krox20 expression is altered in Xenopus-POUV depleted embryos, consistent with a role for these Oct-4 homologues in regulating cell fate commitment.