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Dev Biol. 1995 Dec;172(2):694-8.

TTF-1 regulates lung epithelial morphogenesis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Women's and Children's Hospital, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


TTF-1 is a homeodomain transcriptional factor expressed in thyroid, lung, and parts of the brain. In vitro, TTF-1 can activate the promoter of thyroid- and pulmonary-specific genes. We postulated that TTF-1 not only is essential for the activation of tissue-specific genes, but also may directly participate in epithelial cell morphogenesis. To test this postulate, we used an antisense oligonucleotide inhibitory strategy in an in vitro model of embryonic mouse lung branching morphogenesis. This strategy suppressed TTF-1 translation and inhibited lung branching morphogenesis. The resulting abnormal phenotype was characterized by hyperplastic and unorganized proliferation of epithelial cells in the airways. The mesenchymal compartment of the lung appeared to be unaffected. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that the expression of a homeoprotein transcriptional regulator is necessary for lung epithelial morphogenesis.

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