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Dev Dyn. 2004 Mar;229(3):703-7.

Dynamic expression of Lef/Tcf family members and beta-catenin during chick gastrulation, neurulation, and early limb development.

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University of Dundee, School of Life Sciences Biocentre, Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Members of the Lef/Tcf family of HMG-box transcription factors mediate the response to Wnt as part of the canonical Wnt signaling cascade. Positive and negative cofactors, including beta-catenin, CtBP, and Smad3, regulate the activity of Lef/Tcf transcription complexes. Interaction of Lef/Tcfs with beta-catenin results in target gene activation or repression, depending on the context. Here, we report the cloning of a novel chick Tcf-1 splice variant and of a partial cDNA for chick Tcf-3. We describe their expression patterns during early development and have compared them with the expression profiles of Lef-1 and beta-catenin. We found restricted patterns during gastrulation, neurulation, somitogenesis, and early limb development. beta-catenin and Lef/Tcf expression did not always coincide, indicating developmental contexts in which Lef/Tcf proteins may interact with other cofactors and conversely, the areas in which beta-catenin may interact with other coregulators, or be involved in regulating adhesive properties of cells.

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