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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A December 21, 1999; 96 (26): 14996-5001.

X-ngnr-1 and Xath3 promote ectopic expression of sensory neuron markers in the neurula ectoderm and have distinct inducing properties in the retina.

Perron M , Opdecamp K , Butler K , Harris WA , Bellefroid EJ .

Xath3 encodes a Xenopus neuronal-specific basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor related to the Drosophila proneural factor atonal. We show here that Xath3 acts downstream of X-ngnr-1 during neuronal differentiation in the neural plate and retina and that its expression and activity are modulated by Notch signaling. X-ngnr-1 activates Xath3 and NeuroD by different mechanisms, and the latter two genes crossactivate each other. In the ectoderm, X-ngnr-1 and Xath3 have similar activities, inducing ectopic sensory neurons. Among the sensory-specific markers tested, only those that label cranial neurons were found to be ectopically activated. By contrast, in the retina, X-ngnr-1 and Xath3 overexpression promote the development of overlapping but distinct subtypes of retinal neurons. Together, these data suggest that X-ngnr-1 and Xath3 regulate successive stages of early neuronal differentiation and that, in addition to their general proneural properties, they may contribute, in a context-dependent manner, to some aspect of neuronal identity.

PubMed ID: 10611326
PMC ID: PMC24761
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: neurod1 neurod4 neurog2 notch1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Bellefroid, Xiro3 encodes a Xenopus homolog of the Drosophila Iroquois genes and functions in neural specification. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase

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