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Mech Dev January 1, 1996; 54 (1): 45-57.

Transcriptional hierarchy in Xenopus embryogenesis: HNF4 a maternal factor involved in the developmental activation of the gene encoding the tissue specific transcription factor HNF1 alpha (LFB1).

Holewa B , Strandmann EP , Zapp D , Lorenz P , Ryffel GU .

The tissue specific transcription factor HNF1 alpha (LFB1) expressed in liver, kidney, stomach and gut gets transcriptionally activated in Xenopus shortly after zygotic transcription starts. By microinjection into fertilized Xenopus eggs, a HNF1 alpha promoter fragment is activated in the middle part of developing larvae, reflecting the activation pattern of the endogenous HNF1 alpha gene. Mutational analysis of the HNF1 alpha promoter shows that HNF1 and HNF4 binding sites are essential for proper embryonic regulation. Since by injecting HNF4 mRNA into fertilized eggs the endogenous HNF1 alpha gene is activated ectopically and HNF4 is present as a maternal protein within an animal to vegetal gradient in the embryo, we assume that HNF4 initiates a transcriptional hierarchy involved in determination of different cell fates.

PubMed ID: 8808405
Article link: Mech Dev

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: hnf1a hnf4a

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