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Development October 1, 2004; 131 (20): 5065-78.

New roles for FoxH1 in patterning the early embryo.

FoxH1 (Fast1) was first characterized as the transcriptional partner for Smad proteins. Together with Smad2/4, it forms the activin response factor (ARF) that binds to the Mix.2 promoter in Xenopus embryos. Foxh1 is expressed maternally in Xenopus. Depletion of maternal Foxh1 mRNA results in abnormalities of head and dorsal axis formation. We show that FoxH1 is required, together with XTcf3/beta catenin, to activate the zygotic expression of the nodal gene, Xnr3 in a Smad2-independent manner. In contrast, maternal FoxH1 acts as an inhibitor of Xnr5 and 6 transcription, preventing their upregulation on the ventral side of the embryo, by the maternal T-box transcription factor VegT. We conclude that maternal FoxH1 has essential, context-dependent roles in regulating the pattern of zygotic gene expression in the early embryo.

PubMed ID: 15459100
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a cer1 chrd.1 ctnnb1 dkk1 fgf8 foxh1 foxh1.2 gal.1 gs17 gsc lhx1 mix1 mixer nodal nodal1 nodal2 nodal3.1 nodal3.2 nodal5 nodal5.2 nodal5.4 nodal6 sia1 smad2 sox17a tbxt vegt ventx2.2
Antibodies: Smad2 Ab7

Article Images: [+] show captions