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Neurochem Res July 1, 2011; 36 (7): 1286-92.

Role of BMP, FGF, calcium signaling, and Zic proteins in vertebrate neuroectodermal differentiation.

More than a decade has passed since Zic family zinc finger proteins were discovered to be transcription factors controlling neuroectodermal differentiation (neural induction) in Xenopus laevis embryos. Although BMP-signal blocking has been shown to be a major upregulator of Zic genes in neuroectodermal differentiation, recent studies have revealed that FGF signaling and intracellular calcium elevation are also involved in regulating the expression of Zic genes. Different regulatory mechanisms have been found for the Zic1 and Zic3 genes, raising the possibility that functional synergism between them partly accounts for the integration of BMP-signal blocking and FGF signaling in neuroectodermal differentiation. Furthermore, mammalian Zic1 and Zic3 have been found to be neural-cell-fate-inducing and pluripotency-maintaining factors, respectively, leading us to the intriguing question of whether the mechanism underlying amphibian neuroectodermal differentiation is applicable to mammals. Comprehensive understanding of the Zic family genes is therefore essential for the study of the neuroectodermal differentiation and stem cell biology.

PubMed ID: 21336820
PMC ID: PMC3111669
Article link: Neurochem Res

Genes referenced: bmp2 bmp4 chrd.1 mapk1 nog smad1 smad4.1 smad4.2 smad6 zic1 zic3

Article Images: [+] show captions
Aruga, 2010, Pubmed [+]

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