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Mech Dev. 1998 Dec;79(1-2):17-27.

A mouse homologue of FAST-1 transduces TGF beta superfamily signals and is expressed during early embryogenesis.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The transcription factor FAST-1 has recently been shown to play a key role in the specification of mesoderm by TGF beta superfamily signals in the early Xenopus embryo. We have cloned Fast1, a mouse homologue of Xenopus FAST-1, and characterized its expression during embryogenesis and function in activin/TGF beta signal transduction. In vitro, Fast1 associates with Smads in response to an activin/TGF beta signal to form a complex that recognizes the Xenopus activin responsive element (ARE) targeted by Xenopus FAST-1. In intact cells, introduction of Fast1 confers activin/TGF beta regulation of an ARE-luciferase reporter. In embryos, Fast1 is expressed predominantly throughout the epiblast before gastrulation and declines as development progresses. We propose that mouse Fast1, like Xenopus FAST-1, mediates TGF beta superfamily signals specifying developmental fate during early embryogenesis.

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