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Curr Biol. 2001 Apr 3;11(7):503-7.

Zebrafish pea3 and erm are general targets of FGF8 signaling.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Spemannstrasse 35/III, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany.


Phenotypic analysis of both zebrafish and mouse has shown that fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) is required for many developmental decisions. To further our understanding of the FGF8 signaling process, we sought to identify new transcriptional targets of the pathway. Here, we propose that two zebrafish ETS genes, pea3 and erm, are general targets of FGF8 signaling, based upon the following observations: both genes are expressed around all early FGF8 signaling sources, both genes are downregulated in fgf8 mutant embryos in all tissues known to require fgf8 function, a pharmacological inhibitor of the FGF pathway completely abolishes expression of both genes, and ectopic expression of fgf8 is sufficient to induce both genes. The finding that pea3 and erm are common transcriptional targets of FGF8 signaling suggests that they are general mediators of FGF8 signaling during development. In addition, we observed that pea3 is often expressed close to an FGF8 source, and erm is expressed in a broader domain. To test whether this differential expression is established by FGF8, we have induced FGF8 ectopically and show that it is sufficient to recapitulate the endogenous nested expression pattern of pea3 and erm.

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