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Development. 1991 Jan;111(1):131-43.

Embryonic gene expression patterns of TGF beta 1, beta 2 and beta 3 suggest different developmental functions in vivo.

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Duncan Guthrie Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Glasgow, UK.


We have compared the expression of the genes encoding transforming growth factors beta 1, beta 2 and beta 3 during mouse embryogenesis from 9.5 to 16.5 days p.c. using in situ hybridisation to cellular RNAs. Each gene has a different expression pattern, which gives some indication of possible biological function in vivo. All three genes appear to be involved in chondroossification, though each is expressed in a different cell type. Transcripts of each gene are also present in embryonic epithelia. Epithelial expression of TGF beta 1, beta 2 and beta 3 RNA is associated with regions of active morphogenesis involving epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. In addition, widespread epithelial expression of TGF beta 2 RNA can be correlated with epithelial differentiation per se. The localisation of TGF beta 2 RNA in neuronal tissue might also be correlated with differentiation. Finally both TGF beta 1 and beta 2 transcripts are seen in regions actively undergoing cardiac septation and valve formation, suggesting some interaction of these growth factors in this developmental process.

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