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Dev Dyn. 2007 Nov;236(11):3100-10.

ETS-family genes in pancreatic development.

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  • 1Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado 80045, USA.


ETS-family factors play major roles in development and cancer, notably as critical targets for extra-cellular signaling pathways, including MAPK-signaling. Given the presently limited knowledge on the role of ETS-factors in pancreatic development, we here sought to characterize all 26 individual members of the ETS-family in relation to pancreatic development using a combination of genomics, RT-PCR, and histological techniques. This analysis uncovers 22 ETS family genes displaying select spatial and temporal expression patterns in the developing pancreas. Highly specific expression of ETS-family components is observed in pancreatic progenitor cells or the associated embryonic mesenchyme. Other members are linked to the differentiation of more mature pancreatic cells, including exocrine and endocrine cell types. We find that two members of the Etv subfamily, Etv4 and Etv5, are expressed in cells proximal to pancreatic mesenchyme, and, furthermore, induced in FGF10-arrested pancreatic progenitors suggesting that these factors mediate mesenchymal-to-epithelial signaling.

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