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Development 1998 Feb 01;1254:579-87. doi: 10.1242/dev.125.4.579.
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Xenopus Zic-related-1 and Sox-2, two factors induced by chordin, have distinct activities in the initiation of neural induction.

Mizuseki K , Kishi M , Matsui M , Nakanishi S , Sasai Y .

In a differential screen for downstream genes of the neural inducers, we identified two extremely early neural genes induced by Chordin and suppressed by BMP-4: Zic-related-1 (Zic-r1), a zinc finger factor related to the Drosophila pair-rule gene odd-paired, and Sox-2, a Sry-related HMG factor. Expression of the two genes is first detected widely in the prospective neuroectoderm at the beginning of gastrulation, following the onset of Chordin expression and preceding that of Neurogenin (Xngnr-1). Zic-r1 mRNA injection activates the proneural gene Xngnr-1, and initiates neural and neuronal differentiation in isolated animal caps and in vivo. In contrast, Sox-2 alone is not sufficient to cause neural differentiation, but can work synergistically with FGF signaling to initiate neural induction. Thus, Zic-r1 acts in the pathway bridging the neural inducer with the downstream proneural genes, while Sox-2 makes the ectoderm responsive to extracellular signals, demonstrating that the early phase of neural induction involves simultaneous activation of multiple functions.

PubMed ID: 9435279
Article link: Development

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: chrd fgf2 fst h4c4 hoxa9 hoxb9 hoxc9 ncam1 neurog1 neurog2 nrp1 otx2 prph snai2 sox13 sox2 tbxt tubb2b zic1

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