Pancreas-specific transcription factor 1a (Ptf1a), a bHLH transcription factor, has two temporally distinct functions during pancreas development; initially it is required for early specification of the entire pancreas, while later it is required for proper differentiation and maintenance of only acinar cells. The importance of Ptf1a function was revealed by the fact that loss of Ptf1a leads to pancreas agenesis in humans. While Ptf1a is one of the most important pancreatic transcription factors, little is known about the differences between the regulatory networks it controls during initial specification of the pancreas as opposed to acinar cell development, and to date no comprehensive analysis of its downstream targets has been published. In this article, we use Xenopus embryos to identify putative downstream targets of Ptf1a. We isolated anterior endoderm tissue overexpressing Ptf1a at two early stages, NF32 and NF36, and compared their gene expression profiles using microarrays. Our results revealed that Ptf1a regulates genes with a wide variety of functions, providing insight into the complexity of the regulatory network required for pancreas specification.
PubMed ID: 22815262
PMC ID: PMC3498591
Article link: Genesis.
Grant support: R01 DK077197 NIDDK NIH HHS , DK077197 NIDDK NIH HHS , P40 OD010997 NIH HHS
Genes referenced: hapln3 hey1 igfbp1 ilf2 irf1 neurod1 ptf1a sdc4 stx1b stxbp1
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