Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Cell. 2003 Feb;4(2):231-40.

EGF signaling patterns the feather array by promoting the interbud fate.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Molecular Biology Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Feather buds form sequentially in a hexagonal array. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling from the feather bud inhibits bud formation in the adjacent interbud tissue, but whether interbud fate and patterning is actively promoted by BMP or other factors is unclear. We show that epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling acts positively to establish interbud identity. EGF and the active EGF receptor (EGFR) are expressed in the interbud regions. Exogenous EGF stimulates epidermal proliferation and expands interbud gene expression, with a concurrent loss of feather bud gene expression and morphology. Conversely, EGFR inhibitors result in the loss of interbud fate and increased acquisition of feather bud fate. EGF signaling acts directly on the epidermis and is independent of BMP signaling. The timing of competence to interpret interbud-promoting signals occurs at an earlier developmental stage than previously anticipated. These data demonstrate that EGFR signaling actively promotes interbud identity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center