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Genesis January 1, 2016; 54 (6): 334-49.

Neural transcription factors bias cleavage stage blastomeres to give rise to neural ectoderm.

Gaur S , Mandelbaum M , Herold M , Majumdar HD , Neilson KM , Maynard TM , Mood K , Daar IO , Moody SA .

The decision by embryonic ectoderm to give rise to epidermal versus neural derivatives is the result of signaling events during blastula and gastrula stages. However, there also is evidence in Xenopus that cleavage stage blastomeres contain maternally derived molecules that bias them toward a neural fate. We used a blastomere explant culture assay to test whether maternally deposited transcription factors bias 16-cell blastomere precursors of epidermal or neural ectoderm to express early zygotic neural genes in the absence of gastrulation interactions or exogenously supplied signaling factors. We found that Foxd4l1, Zic2, Gmnn, and Sox11 each induced explants made from ventral, epidermis-producing blastomeres to express early neural genes, and that at least some of the Foxd4l1 and Zic2 activities are required at cleavage stages. Similarly, providing extra Foxd4l1 or Zic2 to explants made from dorsal, neural plate-producing blastomeres significantly increased the expression of early neural genes, whereas knocking down either significantly reduced them. These results show that maternally delivered transcription factors bias cleavage stage blastomeres to a neural fate. We demonstrate that mouse and human homologs of Foxd4l1 have similar functional domains compared to the frog protein, as well as conserved transcriptional activities when expressed in Xenopus embryos and blastomere explants. genesis 54:334-349, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PubMed ID: 27092474
PMC ID: PMC4912902
Article link: Genesis
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd.1 ctnnb1 foxd4l1.1 foxd4l1.2 gmnn irx1 krt12.4 neurog2 sia1 sox11 sox2 tbxt tle4 zic1 zic2
Morpholinos: foxd4l1.1 MO1 foxd4l1.2 MO1 zic2 MO1 zic2 MO2 zic2 MO3 zic2 MO4

Phenotypes: Xla Wt + Hsa.foxd4 (fig.6.a) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Abrams, Early zebrafish development: it's in the maternal genes. 2009, Pubmed