A Caltech Library Service

Repression of mesodermal fate by foxa, a key endoderm regulator of the sea urchin embryo

Oliveri, Paola and Walton, Katherine D. and Davidson, Eric H. and McClay, David R. (2006) Repression of mesodermal fate by foxa, a key endoderm regulator of the sea urchin embryo. Development, 133 (21). pp. 4173-4181. ISSN 0950-1991. doi:10.1242/10.1242/dev.02577.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The foxa gene is an integral component of the endoderm specification subcircuit of the endomesoderm gene regulatory network in the Strongylocentrotus purpuratus embryo. Its transcripts become confined to veg2, then veg1 endodermal territories, and, following gastrulation, throughout the gut. It is also expressed in the stomodeal ectoderm. gatae and otx genes provide input into the pregastrular regulatory system of foxa, and Foxa represses its own transcription, resulting in an oscillatory temporal expression profile. Here, we report three separate essential functions of the foxa gene: it represses mesodermal fate in the veg2 endomesoderm; it is required in postgastrular development for the expression of gut-specific genes; and it is necessary for stomodaeum formation. If its expression is reduced by a morpholino, more endomesoderm cells become pigment and other mesenchymal cell types, less gut is specified, and the larva has no mouth. Experiments in which blastomere transplantation is combined with foxa MASO treatment demonstrate that, in the normal endoderm, a crucial role of Foxa is to repress gcm expression in response to a Notch signal, and hence to repress mesodermal fate. Chimeric recombination experiments in which veg2, veg1 or ectoderm cells contained foxa MASO show which region of foxa expression controls each of the three functions. These experiments show that the foxa gene is a component of three distinct embryonic gene regulatory networks.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:Published by The Company of Biologists 2006. Accepted 9 August 2006. First published online October 12, 2006. We thank Dr Andy Ransick of California Institute of Technology for critical and fruitful discussions; Jina Yun whose extraordinary technical assistance made the network analysis as complete as possible; Drs Qiang Tu and Özlem Yüce for help with the WMISH. We acknowledge Dr Cathy Yuh, who generously provided the S. purpuratus clone; Dr Albert Erives, who designed the foxa MASOs and screened the S. purpuratus BAC library; Dr Jenifer Croce, who provided probes and offered many suggestions on Notch signaling; and Dr Jim A. Coffman for the cDNA sequence of foxa. This research was supported by NIH grants HD37105, HD14483, GM61464, and by the Office of Science (BER), the US Department of Energy, grant DE-FG02-03ER63584. P.O. was supported by the Camilla Chandler Frost Fellowship; K.D.W. by the US Department of Defense.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-03ER63584
Camilla Chandler Frost fellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Department of DefenseUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Sea urchin, foxa, Forkhead, Regulatory network, Endomesoderm, Specification
Issue or Number:21
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:OLIdev06
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12076
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:21 Oct 2008 23:37
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:25

Repository Staff Only: item control page