FGF8 induces formation of an ectopic isthmic organizer and isthmocerebellar development via a repressive effect on Otx2 expression. (1/3896)

Beads containing recombinant FGF8 (FGF8-beads) were implanted in the prospective caudal diencephalon or midbrain of chick embryos at stages 9-12. This induced the neuroepithelium rostral and caudal to the FGF8-bead to form two ectopic, mirror-image midbrains. Furthermore, cells in direct contact with the bead formed an outgrowth that protruded laterally from the neural tube. Tissue within such lateral outgrowths developed proximally into isthmic nuclei and distally into a cerebellum-like structure. These morphogenetic effects were apparently due to FGF8-mediated changes in gene expression in the vicinity of the bead, including a repressive effect on Otx2 and an inductive effect on En1, Fgf8 and Wnt1 expression. The ectopic Fgf8 and Wnt1 expression domains formed nearly complete concentric rings around the FGF8-bead, with the Wnt1 ring outermost. These observations suggest that FGF8 induces the formation of a ring-like ectopic signaling center (organizer) in the lateral wall of the brain, similar to the one that normally encircles the neural tube at the isthmic constriction, which is located at the boundary between the prospective midbrain and hindbrain. This ectopic isthmic organizer apparently sends long-range patterning signals both rostrally and caudally, resulting in the development of the two ectopic midbrains. Interestingly, our data suggest that these inductive signals spread readily in a caudal direction, but are inhibited from spreading rostrally across diencephalic neuromere boundaries. These results provide insights into the mechanism by which FGF8 induces an ectopic organizer and suggest that a negative feedback loop between Fgf8 and Otx2 plays a key role in patterning the midbrain and anterior hindbrain.  (+info)

Increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 8 in human breast cancer. (2/3896)

Fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) is an important developmental protein which is oncogenic and able to cooperate with wnt-1 to produce mouse mammary carcinoma. The level of expression of FGF8 mRNA was measured in 68 breast cancers and 24 non-malignant breast tissues. Elevated levels of FGF8 mRNA were found in malignant compared to non-malignant breast tissues with significantly more malignant tissues expressing FGF8 (P=0.019) at significantly higher levels (P=0.031). In situ hybridization of breast cancer tissues and analysis of purified populations of normal epithelial cells and breast cancer cell lines showed that malignant epithelial cells expressed FGF8 mRNA at high levels compared to non-malignant epithelial and myoepithelial cells and fibroblasts. Although two of the receptors which FGF8 binds to (FGFR2-IIIc, FGFR3-IIIc) are not expressed in breast cancer cells, an autocrine activation loop is possible since expression of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 4 and FGFR1 are retained in malignant epithelial cells. This is the first member of the FGF family to have increased expression in breast cancer and a potential autocrine role in its progression.  (+info)

Fibroblast growth factor-8 expression is regulated by intronic engrailed and Pbx1-binding sites. (3/3896)

Fibroblast growth factor-8 (FGF8) plays a critical role in vertebrate development and is expressed normally in temporally and spatially restricted regions of the vertebrate embryo. We now report on the identification of regions of Fgf8 important for its transcriptional regulation in murine ES cell-derived embryoid bodies. Stable transfection of ES cells, using a human growth hormone reporter gene, was employed to identify regions of the Fgf8 gene with promoter/enhancer activity. A 2-kilobase 5' region of Fgf8 was shown to contain promoter activity. A 0.8-kilobase fragment derived from the large intron of Fgf8 was found to enhance human growth hormone expressed from the Fgf8 promoter 3-4-fold in an orientation dependent manner. The intronic fragment contains DNA-binding sites for the AP2, Pbx1, and Engrailed transcription factors. Gel shift and Western blot experiments documented the presence of these transcription factors in nuclear extracts from ES cell embryoid bodies. In vitro mutagenesis of the Engrailed or Pbx1 site demonstrated that these sites modulate the activity of the intronic fragment. In addition, in vitro mutagenesis of both Engrailed and Pbx1 sites indicated that other unidentified sites are responsible for the transcriptional enhancement observed with the intronic fragment.  (+info)

Gap junction signalling mediated through connexin-43 is required for chick limb development. (4/3896)

During chick limb development the gap junction protein Connexin-43 (Cx43) is expressed in discrete spatially restricted domains in the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) and mesenchyme of the zone of polarising activity. Antisense oligonucleotides (ODNs) were used to investigate the role of Connexin-43 (Cx43) in the development of the chick limb bud. We have used unmodified ODNs in Pluronic F-127 gel, which is liquid at low temperature but sets at room temperature and so remains situated at the point of application. As a mild surfactant, the gel increases antisense ODN penetration and supplies ODNs to the embryo continually for 12-18 h. We have shown a strong decrease in Cx43 protein expression after application of specific antisense oligonucleotides but the abundance of a closely related protein, Connexin-32 (Cx32), was not affected. Application of antisense Cx43 ODNs at stages 8-15 HH before limb outgrowth resulted in dramatic limb phenotypes. About 40% of treated embryos exhibited defects such as truncation of the limb bud, fragmentation into two or more domains, or complete splitting of the limb bud into two or three branches. Molecular analysis of antisense treated embryos failed to detect Shh or Bmp-2 in anterior structures and suggested that extra lobes seen in nicked and split limbs were not a result of establishment of new signalling centres as found after the application of FGF to the flank. However, examination of markers for the AER showed a number of abnormalities. In severely truncated specimens we were unable to detect the expression of either Fgf-4 or Fgf-8. In both nicked and split limbs the expression of these genes was discontinuous. Down-regulation of Cx43 after the antisense application could be comparable to AER removal and results in distal truncation of the limb bud. Taken together these data suggest the existence of a feedback loop between the FGFs and signalling mediated by Cx43.  (+info)

derriere: a TGF-beta family member required for posterior development in Xenopus. (5/3896)

TGF-beta signaling plays a key role in induction of the Xenopus mesoderm and endoderm. Using a yeast-based selection scheme, we isolated derriere, a novel TGF-beta family member that is closely related to Vg1 and that is required for normal mesodermal patterning, particularly in posterior regions of the embryo. Unlike Vg1, derriere is expressed zygotically, with RNA localized to the future endoderm and mesoderm by late blastula, and to the posterior mesoderm by mid-gastrula. The derriere expression pattern appears to be identical to the zygotic expression domain of VegT (Xombi, Brat, Antipodean), and can be activated by VegT as well as fibroblast growth factor (FGF). In turn, derriere activates expression of itself, VegT and eFGF, suggesting that a regulatory loop exists between these genes. derriere is a potent mesoderm and endoderm inducer, acting in a dose-dependent fashion. When misexpressed ventrally, derriere induces a secondary axis lacking a head, an effect that is due to dorsalization of the ventral marginal zone. When misexpressed dorsally, derriere suppresses head formation. derriere can also posteriorize neurectoderm, but appears to do so indirectly. Together, these data suggest that derriere expression is compatible only with posterior fates. In order to assess the in vivo function of derriere, we constructed a dominant interfering Derriere protein (Cm-Derriere), which preferentially blocks Derriere activity relative to that of other TGFbeta family members. Cm-derriere expression in embryos leads to posterior truncation, including defects in blastopore lip formation, gastrulation and neural tube closure. Normal expression of anterior and hindbrain markers is observed; however, paraxial mesodermal gene expression is ablated. This phenotype can be rescued by wild-type derriere and by VegT. Our findings indicate that derriere plays a crucial role in mesodermal patterning and development of posterior regions in Xenopus.  (+info)

adrift, a novel bnl-induced Drosophila gene, required for tracheal pathfinding into the CNS. (6/3896)

Neurons and glial cells provide guidance cues for migrating neurons. We show here that migrating epithelial cells also contact specific neurons and glia during their pathfinding, and we describe the first gene required in the process. In wild-type Drosophila embryos, the ganglionic tracheal branch navigates a remarkably complex path along specific neural and glial substrata, switching substrata five times before reaching its ultimate target in the CNS. In adrift mutants, ganglionic branches migrate normally along the intersegmental nerve, but sporadically fail to switch to the segmental nerve and enter the CNS; they wind up meandering along the ventral epidermis instead. adrift encodes a novel nuclear protein with an evolutionarily conserved motif. The gene is required in the trachea and is expressed in the leading cells of migrating ganglionic branches where it is induced by the branchless FGF pathway. We propose that Adrift regulates expression of tracheal genes required for pathfinding on the segmental nerve, and FGF induction of adrift expression in migrating tracheal cells promotes the switch from the intersegmental to the segmental nerve.  (+info)

Nuclear matrix targeting of the protein kinase CK2 signal as a common downstream response to androgen or growth factor stimulation of prostate cancer cells. (7/3896)

Protein kinase CK2, a messenger-independent serine/threonine kinase, has been implicated in cell growth. Androgenic stimulus in rat prostate modulates its association with nuclear matrix (NM) and chromatin. Because the growth of human prostate carcinoma cells is influenced by androgens and/or growth factors, we determined the nature of CK2 signaling in the NM in response to androgen and growth factor stimuli. Androgen-sensitive LNCaP and androgen-insensitive PC-3 cells were cultured in media to regulate their growth in the presence of 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5alpha-DHT) or growth factors (epidermal growth factor, keratinocyte growth factor, and transforming growth factor alpha). The activity of CK2 was measured in the cytosolic and NM fractions isolated from these cells after treatment with growth stimuli. The changes in CK2 in various fractions were also confirmed by immunoblotting with a specific antibody. LNCaP cells responded to both 5alpha-DHT and growth factors for growth. The presence of these agents in the culture medium evoked a translocation of CK2 to the NM from the cytosol. The PC-3 cells did not respond to 5alpha-DHT for growth but did respond to growth factors. Under these conditions, there was also a translocation of CK2 to the NM concomitant with a decrease in the cytosolic fraction. These results suggest that CK2 translocation to the NM occurs in response to various growth stimuli in cells in culture. Thus, CK2 is a common downstream signal transducer in response to diverse growth stimuli that may relate to the pathobiology of prostate cancer cells.  (+info)

FGF8 functions in the specification of the right body side of the chick. (8/3896)

Left-right asymmetry in vertebrate embryos is first recognisable using molecular markers that encode secreted proteins or transcription factors. The asymmetry becomes morphologically obvious in the turning of the embryo and in the development of the heart, the gut and other visceral organs. In the chick embryo, a signalling pathway for the specification of the left body side was demonstrated. Here, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) protein is the first asymmetric signal identified in the node [1] [2]. Further downstream in this pathway are the left-specific genes nodal, lefty-1, lefty-2 and Pitx2 [1] [3] [4] [5]. On the right body side, a function of the activin pathway is indicated by the right-sided expression of cActRIIa [1] [6]. We detected that another key molecule in vertebrate development, fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) [7] [8], is expressed asymmetrically on the right side of the posterior node. We demonstrate that transcription of FGF8 is induced by activin and the FGF8 protein inhibits the expression of nodal and Pitx2 and leads to expression of the chicken snail related gene (cSnR) [9]. Left-sided application of FGF8 randomises the direction of heart looping.  (+info)