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Dev Biol. 1998 Dec 1;204(1):34-54.

The amn gene product is required in extraembryonic tissues for the generation of middle primitive streak derivatives.

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Sloan-Kettering Division, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University, 1275 York Avenue, New York, New York, 10021, USA.


The primitive streak is the defining feature of the gastrulating mouse embryo. Currently, little is known in the mouse about the mechanisms that mediate the assembly of the primitive streak or about the signaling pathways that specify the different types of mesoderm and endoderm generated from the streak. To gain insight into primitive streak assembly and function, we have conducted a detailed phenotypic characterization of amnionless, a transgene-induced insertional mouse mutation that arrests embryonic development during gastrulation. Our histological and molecular analyses, when examined in the context of the mouse gastrula fate map, lead to the model that middle streak formation is specifically impaired in the amnionless mutant. Significantly, these observations argue that the formation of the middle streak is mediated by a pathway that is genetically separable from those that direct the specification of the distal and proximal streak regions. Intriguingly, our findings from wt ES cell left and right arrow amnionless-/- blastocyst chimeras indicate that this proposed separate pathway for middle streak formation is dependent on amnionless gene functions in the visceral endoderm.

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