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Dev Dyn 2008 Nov 01;23711:3373-86. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21749.
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Induction and modulation of smooth muscle differentiation in Xenopus embryonic cells.

Barillot W , Tréguer K , Faucheux C , Fédou S , Thézé N , Thiébaud P .

By comparison with skeletal or cardiac developmental programs, little is known regarding the specific factors that promote specification and differentiation of smooth muscle cells from pluripotent cells. We have analyzed the developmental expression of a subset of smooth muscle genes during Xenopus early development and showed that similar to mammals and avians, Xenopus smooth muscle myosin heavy chain (SM-MHC) is a highly specific marker of smooth muscle differentiation. Embryonic cells from animal pole explants of Xenopus blastula can be induced by basic fibroblast growth factor, Wnt, and bone morphogenetic protein signals to adopt the smooth muscle pathway. Explants from early embryos that contain neural crest cells can also differentiate into cells expressing smooth muscle genes. We examined the interplay of several transcription factors, that is SRF, myocardin, and GATA6, that induce the expression of SM-MHC in animal cap cells and found that myocardin-dependent expression of smooth muscle genes in animal cap cells is synergized by SRF but is strongly antagonized by GATA6.

PubMed ID: 18855898
Article link: Dev Dyn

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acta2 actl6a gata6 myh11 myh4 myh6 myocd srf

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