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Development. 2000 Nov;127(22):4925-35.

Hindbrain patterning: FGFs regulate Krox20 and mafB/kr expression in the otic/preotic region.

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Unité 368 de l'Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 75230 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Krox20 and mafB/kr are regulatory genes involved in hindbrain segmentation and anteroposterior (AP) patterning. They are expressed in rhombomeres (r) r3/r5 and r5/r6 respectively, as well as in the r5/r6 neural crest. Since several members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family are expressed in the otic/preotic region (r2-r6), we investigated their possible involvement in the regulation of Krox20 and mafB/kr. Application of exogenous FGFs to the neural tube of 4- to 7-somite chick embryos led to ectopic expression in the neural crest of the somitic hindbrain (r7 and r8) and to the extension of the Krox20- or mafB/kr-positive areas in the neuroepithelium. Application of an inhibitor of FGF signalling led to severe and specific downregulation of Krox20 and mafB/kr in the hindbrain neuroepithelium and neural crest. These data indicate that FGFs are involved in the control of regional induction and/or maintenance of Krox20 and mafB/kr expression, thus identifying a novel function for these factors in hindbrain development, besides their proposed more general role in early neural caudalisation.

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