Shh regulates chick Ebf1 gene expression in somite development

El-Magd, M A and Allen, S P and McGonnell, I M and Mansour, A A and Otto, A and Patel, K (2015) Shh regulates chick Ebf1 gene expression in somite development. Gene, 554 (1). pp. 87-95.

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The chick early B-cell factor 1 (cEbf1) is a member of EBF family of helix loop helix transcription factors. Recently, we have proved that cEbf1 expression in feather is regulated by Shh. It is therefore possible that the somitic expression of cEbf1 is controlled by Shh signals from the notochord. To assess this hypothesis, the expression profile of cEbf1 was first detailed in somites of chick embryos (from HH8 to HH28). cEbf1 expression was mainly localised in the medial sclerotome and later around the vertebral cartilage anlagen of body and pedicles. Tissue manipulations (notochord ablation) and Shh gain and loss of function experiments were then performed to analyse whether the notochord and/or Shh regulate cEbf1 expression. Results from these experiments confirmed our hypothesis that the medial somitic expression of cEbf1 is regulated by Shh from the notochord. In conclusion, cEbf1 gene is considered as a medial sclerotome marker, downstream to and regulated by the notochord derived Shh, which may be functionally involved in somitogenesis.

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