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Mol Cell Biol. 1998 Mar;18(3):1248-56.

Two members of the Tcf family implicated in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling during embryogenesis in the mouse.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, University Hospital, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Tcf transcription factors interact with beta-catenin and Armadillo to mediate Wnt/Wingless signaling. We now report the characterization of genes encoding two murine members of the Tcf family, mTcf-3 and mTcf-4. mTcf-3 mRNA is ubiquitously present in embryonic day 6.5 (E6.5) mouse embryos but gradually disappears over the next 3 to 4 days. mTcf-4 expression occurs first at E10.5 and is restricted to di- and mesencephalon and the intestinal epithelium during embryogenesis. The mTcf-3 and mTcf-4 proteins bind a canonical Tcf DNA motif and can complex with the transcriptional coactivator beta-catenin. Overexpression of Wnt-1 in a mammary epithelial cell line leads to the formation of a nuclear complex between beta-catenin and Tcf proteins and to Tcf reporter gene transcription. These data demonstrate a direct link between Wnt stimulation and beta-catenin/Tcf transcriptional activation and imply a role for mTcf-3 and -4 in early Wnt-driven developmental decisions in the mouse embryo.

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