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Development. 1994 Feb;120(2):287-99.

Spatially regulated expression of three receptor tyrosine kinase genes during gastrulation in the zebrafish.

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Developmental Biology Research Centre, Randall Institute, Kings College, London, UK.


We describe the isolation and early developmental expression of three novel zebrafish genes (rtk1-3) that encode members of the eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases. At the onset of gastrulation, rtk1 is expressed in the shield region corresponding to the future dorsal side of the embryo. As gastrulation proceeds, both rtk1 and rtk2 are expressed within the axial hypoblast along the entire axis of the embryo. After the gastrula stage is complete, expression of both genes is maintained in precursor cells of the notochord in the tail bud but is downregulated in other regions of the axial hypoblast, rtk3 is expressed in anterior axial hypoblast including the 'pillow' at the anterior tip of the hypoblast and in paraxial tissue in posterior regions of the embryo. We show that the precise spatial regulation of expression of rtk genes, ntl and goosecoid along the anteroposterior axis is maintained in embryos that have no dorsoventral axis. This indicates that the mechanisms that regulate gene expression along the anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes of the hypoblast may be independent.

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