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XASH genes promote neurogenesis in Xenopus embryos

Ferreiro, Beatriz and Kintner, Chris and Zimmerman, Kathy and Anderson, David and Harris, William A. (1994) XASH genes promote neurogenesis in Xenopus embryos. Development, 120 (12). pp. 3649-3655. ISSN 0950-1991.

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Neural development in Drosophila is promoted by a family of basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors encoded within the Achaete Scute-Complex (AS-C). XASH- 3, a Xenopus homolog of the Drosophila AS-C genes, is expressed during neural induction within a portion of the dorsal ectoderm that gives rise to the neural plate and tube. Here, we show that XASH-3, when expressed with the promiscuous binding partner XE12, specifically activates the expression of neural genes in naive ectoderm, suggesting that XASH-3 promotes neural development. Moreover, XASH-3/XE12 RNA injections into embryos lead to hypertrophy of the neural tube. Interestingly, XASH-3 misexpression does not lead to the formation of ectopic neural tissue in ventral regions, suggesting that the domain of XASH proneural function is restricted in the embryo. In contrast to the neural inducer noggin, which permanently activates the NCAM gene, the activation of neural genes by XASH-3/XE12 is not stable in naive ectoderm, yet XASH-3/XE12 powerfully and stably activates NCAM, Neurofilament and type III β-tubulin gene expression in noggintreated ectoderm. These results show that the XASH-3 promotes neural development, and suggest that its activity depends on additional factors which are induced in ectoderm by factors such as noggin.

Item Type:Article
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Anderson, David0000-0001-6175-3872
Additional Information:© The Company of Biologists Limited 1994. We thank Drs John Gurdon and David Turner for the gift of XMyoD, XE12 and Xtwist cDNAs respectively. We thank Drs E. Bier, M. Levine, C. Murre, J. Posakony, D. Tanahill and S. Bray for their critical reading of the manuscript and R. Hartong for his input into this work. The technical contribution of J. Voss is gratefully acknowledged. Financial support was provided by the NIH, the HHMI, and McKnight Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical InstituteUNSPECIFIED
McKnight FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:XASH, basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, neurogenesis, Xenopus
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:FERdev94
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13774
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:14 Jul 2009 16:51
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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