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Dev Dyn December 1, 2014; 243 (12): 1606-18.
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Early stages of induction of anterior head ectodermal properties in Xenopus embryos are mediated by transcriptional cofactor ldb1.

Plautz CZ , Zirkle BE , Deshotel MJ , Grainger RM .

Specific molecules involved in early inductive signaling from anterior neural tissue to the placodal ectoderm to establish a lens-forming bias, as well as their regulatory factors, remain largely unknown. In this study, we sought to identify and characterize these molecules. Using an expression cloning strategy to isolate genes with lens-inducing activity, we identified the transcriptional cofactor ldb1. This, together with evidence for its nuclear dependence, suggests its role as a regulatory factor, not a direct signaling molecule. We propose that ldb1 mediates induction of early lens genes in our functional assay by transcriptional activation of lens-inducing signals. Gain-of-function assays demonstrate that the inductive activity of the anterior neural plate on head ectodermal structures can be augmented by ldb1. Loss-of-function assays show that knockdown of ldb1 leads to decreased expression of early lens and retinal markers and subsequently to defects in eye development. The functional cloning, expression pattern, overexpression, and knockdown data show that an ldb1-regulated mechanism acts as an early signal for Xenopus lens induction.

PubMed ID: 25258326
PMC ID: PMC4237673
Article link: Dev Dyn
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ag1 dll1 dlx5 foxe3 ldb1 ldb2 maf nrl rax
Morpholinos: ldb1 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Agulnick, Interactions of the LIM-domain-binding factor Ldb1 with LIM homeodomain proteins. 1996, Pubmed, Xenbase