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Genes Dev. 2006 Jun 1;20(11):1441-6.

Combined ectopic expression of Pdx1 and Ptf1a/p48 results in the stable conversion of posterior endoderm into endocrine and exocrine pancreatic tissue.

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Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Zentrum Biochemie und Molekular Zellbiologie, Abteilung Entwicklungsbiochemie, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Patterning of the embryonic endoderm into distinct sets of precursor cells involves the precisely regulated activities of key transcription regulators. Ectopic, pan-endodermal activation of XPtf1a/p48 during pancreas precursor cell stages of Xenopus embryogenesis results in an expansion of the pancreatic territory, precisely within the borders of XlHbox8 expression. A combination of both activities is sufficient to expand the pancreatic precursor cell population also into more posterior portions of the endoderm. Both treatments result in the formation of a giant pancreas that persists up to late tadpole stages of development and carries both supernumerary endocrine and exocrine cells. A combination of XPtf1a/p48 and XlHbox8 is thus sufficient to convert nonpancreatic endodermal cells into pancreatic precursor cells.

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