A novel family of T-box genes in urodele amphibian limb development and regeneration: Candidate genes involved in vertebrate forelimb/hindlimb patterning

Hans Georg Simon*, Raja Kittappa, Paul A. Khan, Catherine Tsilfidis, Richard A. Liversage, Simone Oppenheimer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

In certain urodeles, a lost appendage, including hand and foot, can be completely replaced through epimorphic regeneration. The regeneration process involves cellular activities similar to those described for embryogenesis. Working on the assumption that the morphological pattern specific for a forelimb or a hindlimb is controlled by different gene activities in the two limbs, we employed a mRNA differential display screen for the detection of candidate limb identity genes. Using this approach, we have isolated a newt gene which in regenerating and developing limbs reveals properties expected of a gene having a role in controlling limb morphology: (1) it is exclusively expressed in the forelimbs, but not hindlimbs, (2) during embryonic development its expression is co-incident with forelimb bud formation, (3) it has an elevated message level throughout the undifferentiated limb bud and the blastema, respectively, and (4) it is expressed only in mesenchymal, but not in epidermal tissues. This novel newt gene shares a conserved DNA-binding domain, the T-box, with putative transcription factors including the Brachyury (T) gene product. In a following PCR-based screen, we used the evolutionarily conserved T-box motif and amplified a family of related genes in the newt; their different expression patterns in normal and regenerating forelimbs, hindlimbs and tail suggest, in general, an important role of T-domain proteins in vertebrate pattern formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1366
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment
Volume124
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997

Keywords

  • Amphibian
  • Brachyury
  • Limb development
  • Notophthalmus
  • Pattern formation
  • Regeneration
  • Retinoic acid
  • T-box
  • Urodele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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