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Development 2003 Apr 01;1307:1281-94. doi: 10.1242/dev.00343.
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XOtx5b and XOtx2 regulate photoreceptor and bipolar fates in the Xenopus retina.

Viczian AS , Vignali R , Zuber ME , Barsacchi G , Harris WA .

Photoreceptor and bipolar cells are molecularly related cell types in the vertebrate retina. XOtx5b is expressed in both photoreceptors and bipolars, while a closely related member of the same family of transcription factors, XOtx2, is expressed in bipolar cells only. Lipofection of retinal precursors with XOtx5b biases them toward photoreceptor fates whereas a similar experiment with XOtx2 promotes bipolar cell fates. Domain swap experiments show that the ability to specify different cell fates is largely contained in the divergent sequence C-terminal to the homeodomain, while the more homologous N-terminal and homeodomain regions of both genes, when fused to VP16 activators, promote only photoreceptor fates. XOtx5b is closely related to Crx and like Crx it drives expression from an opsin reporter in vivo. XOtx2 suppresses this XOtx5b-driven reporter activity providing a possible explanation for why bipolars do not express opsin. Similarly, co-lipofection of XOtx2 with XOtx5b overrides the latter's ability to promote photoreceptor fates and the combination drives bipolar fates. The results suggest that the shared and divergent parts of these homologous genes may be involved in specifying the shared and distinct characters of related cell types in the vertebrate retina.

PubMed ID: 12588845
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: adm calb1 crx gal.2 otx2 rho
Antibodies: Calb1 Ab3 Hspa5 Ab1

Article Images: [+] show captions