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Dev Biol April 15, 2002; 244 (2): 407-17.
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The IGF pathway regulates head formation by inhibiting Wnt signaling in Xenopus.

Richard-Parpaillon L , Héligon C , Chesnel F , Boujard D , Philpott A .

The insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are well known mitogens, both in vivo and in vitro, while functions in cellular differentiation have also been indicated. Here, we demonstrate a new role for the IGF pathway in regulating head formation in Xenopus embryos. Both IGF-1 and IGF-2, along with their receptor IGF-1R, are expressed early during embryogenesis, and the IGF-1R is present particularly in anterior and dorsal structures. Overexpression of IGF-1 leads to anterior expansion of head neural tissue as well as formation of ectopic eyes and cement gland, while IGF-1 receptor depletion using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides drastically reduces head structures. Furthermore, we demonstrate that IGF signaling exerts this effect by antagonizing the activity of the Wnt signal transduction pathway in the early embryo, at the level of beta-catenin. Thus, the IGF pathway is required for head formation during embryogenesis.

PubMed ID: 11944947
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: foxg1 igf1 igf1r igf2 igf3 ins ncam1 nodal3.1 otx2 pax6 rho rpe sia1 tcf7l1 wnt8a
Morpholinos: igf1r MO1

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