Expression of TFAP2beta and TFAP2gamma genes in Xenopus laevis.
ABSTRACT The embryonic expression patterns of two additional members of the transcription factor TFAP2 family in Xenopus laevis, TFAP2beta and TFAP2gamma, are described. Both genes share overlapping expression domains with the previously characterized TFAP2alpha in this species, although differences exist. All three genes are expressed in the neural crest (NC) region at late gastrula to early neurula stages. TFAP2alpha and TFAP2gamma are also expressed in outer, epidermal cells, while TFAP2beta is essentially NC-specific. All three are induced by Wnt/beta-catenin -- BMP signals and all bind to a consensus TFAP2 recognition site from an epidermal keratin gene.
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ABSTRACT: Specialized sensory organs in the vertebrate head originate from thickenings in the embryonic ectoderm called cranial sensory placodes. These placodes, as well as the neural crest, arise from a zone of ectoderm that borders the neural plate. This zone separates into a precursor field for the neural crest that lies adjacent to the neural plate, and a precursor field for the placodes, called the pre-placodal region (PPR), that lies lateral to the neural crest. The neural crest domain and the PPR are established in response to signaling events mediated by BMPs, FGFs and Wnts, which differentially activate transcription factors in these territories. In the PPR, members of the Six and Eya families, act in part to repress neural crest specific transcription factors, thus solidifying a placode developmental program. Subsequently, in response to environmental cues the PPR is further subdivided into placodal territories with distinct characteristics, each expressing a specific repertoire of transcription factors that provides the necessary information for their progression to mature sensory organs. In this review we summarize recent advances in the characterization of the signaling molecules and transcriptional effectors that regulate PPR specification and its subdivision into placodal domains with distinct identities.Developmental Biology 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.02.011 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Transcription factors Pax3 and Zic1 are two important regulators of cell fate decision at the neural plate border, where they act synergistically to promote neural crest (NC) formation. To understand the role of these factors in NC development we performed a microarray analysis to identify downstream targets of Pax3 and Zic1 in Xenopus embryos. Among the genes identified was a member of transcription factor activator protein 2 (Tfap2) family, Tfap2 epsilon (Tfap2e). Tfap2e is first expressed at early neurula stage in NC progenitors and Rohon-Beard sensory neurons, and persists in a subset of migrating cranial NC cells as they populate the pharyngeal arches. This is in contrast to other species in which Tfap2e is not detected in the early NC lineage. Tfap2e morpholino-mediated knockdown results in a loss of NC progenitors and an expansion of the neural plate. Tfap2e is also sufficient to activate NC-specific genes in animal cap explants, and gain-of-function experiments in the whole embryo indicate that Tfap2e can promote NC formation. We propose that Tfap2e is a novel player in the gene regulatory network controlling NC specification in Xenopus downstream of Pax3 and Zic1. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2014.Developmental Neurobiology 09/2014; 74(9). DOI:10.1002/dneu.22173 · 4.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cranial sensory placodes derive from discrete patches of the head ectoderm and give rise to numerous sensory structures. During gastrulation, a specialized "neural border zone" forms around the neural plate in response to interactions between the neural and nonneural ectoderm and signals from adjacent mesodermal and/or endodermal tissues. This zone subsequently gives rise to two distinct precursor populations of the peripheral nervous system: the neural crest and the preplacodal ectoderm (PPE). The PPE is a common field from which all cranial sensory placodes arise (adenohypophyseal, olfactory, lens, trigeminal, epibranchial, otic). Members of the Six family of transcription factors are major regulators of PPE specification, in partnership with cofactor proteins such as Eya. Six gene activity also maintains tissue boundaries between the PPE, neural crest, and epidermis by repressing genes that specify the fates of those adjacent ectodermally derived domains. As the embryo acquires anterior-posterior identity, the PPE becomes transcriptionally regionalized, and it subsequently becomes subdivided into specific placodes with distinct developmental fates in response to signaling from adjacent tissues. Each placode is characterized by a unique transcriptional program that leads to the differentiation of highly specialized cells, such as neurosecretory cells, sensory receptor cells, chemosensory neurons, peripheral glia, and supporting cells. In this review, we summarize the transcriptional and signaling factors that regulate key steps of placode development, influence subsequent sensory neuron specification, and discuss what is known about mutations in some of the essential PPE genes that underlie human congenital syndromes. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Current Topics in Developmental Biology 01/2015; 111:301-50. DOI:10.1016/bs.ctdb.2014.11.009 · 4.21 Impact Factor