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Development. May 1, 2006; 133 (9): 1703-14.

FGF8 spliceforms mediate early mesoderm and posterior neural tissue formation in Xenopus.

Fletcher RB , Baker JC , Harland RM .

The relative contributions of different FGF ligands and spliceforms to mesodermal and neural patterning in Xenopus have not been determined, and alternative splicing, though common, is a relatively unexplored area in development. We present evidence that FGF8 performs a dual role in X. laevis and X. tropicalis early development. There are two FGF8 spliceforms, FGF8a and FGF8b, which have very different activities. FGF8b is a potent mesoderm inducer, while FGF8a has little effect on the development of mesoderm. When mammalian FGF8 spliceforms are analyzed in X. laevis, the contrast in activity is conserved. Using a loss-of-function approach, we demonstrate that FGF8 is necessary for proper gastrulation and formation of mesoderm and that FGF8b is the predominant FGF8 spliceform involved in early mesoderm development in Xenopus. Furthermore, FGF8 signaling is necessary for proper posterior neural formation; loss of either FGF8a or a reduction in both FGF8a and FGF8b causes a reduction in the hindbrain and spinal cord domains.

PubMed ID: 16554360
Article link: Development.
Grant support: GM42341 NIGMS NIH HHS

Genes referenced: act3 actl6a cdx4 dbx1 egr2 en2 epha4 fgf4 fgf8 gal.2 hoxb9 hoxd1 myod1 otx2 rax sox2 tbx2 tbxt

Morpholinos referenced: fgf8 MO1 fgf8 MO2

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